12-year-old Maddy Paige loved playing football at Strong Rock Christian School, a private school in Locust Grove, Georgia. She was the starting left defensive tackle last year as a sixth grader, according to WAGA-TV, but has been told by the school that she will no longer be able to play as a seventh grader.
Why? Her mom says the school cited Biblical reasons as part of the reason.
WAGA, which interviewed the family, summarizes:
Paige’s mother, Cassy Blythe, said that the CEO of the school gave a number of reasons why her daughter should not play, including saying that boys may have impure thoughts and noting that it’s private and they can do what they want. At one point, Blythe said that the CEO cited the Bible.
“They couldn’t find an exact quote of why she shouldn’t play,” said Blythe. “He said, ‘The best I can up with is that men and women are created equal but different.’ And that is all he could say.” [Emphasis added]
The school’s athletic director Phil Roberts said in an email to WXIA-TV: “Our official policy is that middle school girls play girl sports and middle school boys play boy sports.”
But Blythe reacted: “What they’ve done her is they’ve taken Maddy — they let her have that cake, then they took it from her and they smashed it.”
She says the school should be teaching Maddy that hard work and dedication pay off, but in this case it got her “kicked off” of the team, and makes her feel “like less worthy of a person.”
“It’s like taking my dream and throwing it in the trash,” Maddy commented.
The family has started a Facebook page called “Let Her Play,” where they say people should be able to “play to your ability, not your gender.”
Blythe is appealing the decision, but since it is a private institution the school makes the ultimate decision.
What do you think of the case?