Lawyer files lawsuit on behalf of student who wants to play sports for Ballard … – Louisville Courier
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The parents of a sophomore who transferred to Ballard High School because of alleged bullying at another school have filed a lawsuit claiming Jefferson County Public Schools is preventing the student from playing sports this year, despite a ruling from the Kentucky High School Athletic Association granting her eligibility.
The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in Jefferson Circuit Court, claims Maddie Martin transferred from du Pont Manual High School in fall 2010 because she was being bullied and harassed and enrolled at Ballard, where she filed an appeal with the athletic association to play basketball and softball, as she had previously.
After a hearing, the athletic association granted the 16-year-old an exemption to play at Ballard without having to sit out a year, as is typical, because a hearing officer found Maddie was “bullied and the coaches at du Pont Manual failed to intercede to protect her from this treatment,” according to a passage from the lawsuit quoting the athletic association ruling. “She was clearly entitled to their protection as she was being harassed. There is not any evidence to support the idea that Maddie’s transfer was motivated in whole or in part by the desire to participate in athletics.”
But attorney Teddy Gordon, who represents the Martins, said at a press conference Thursday that the school district “refused to follow the order” of the athletic association and the family is now asking a circuit judge to intervene and allow Maddie to immediately participate in varsity athletics.
No court hearing date has been set.
The lawsuit names the school district, Jerry Wyman, director of athletics for the school district, and Joseph Burks, administrative supervisor of athletics for the school district, who, the suit claims, ruled Maddie is only eligible to play sports at Seneca High School, her “resides” school, or the one to which she would be assigned based on her address, which has been labeled a failing school.
Gordon said the school district has its own rule — outside of the athletic association — where students transferring are not eligible to play for a year.