ACLU: 'Unacceptable' 12-Year-Old Female Can't Be on Football Team

ACLU: 'Unacceptable' 12-Year-Old Female Can't Be on Football Team

The Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is helping seventh-grader Makhaela Jenkins play on her school’s football team. The Liberty Union-Thurston District does not allow females on teams with contact drills.

Superintendent Paul Matthews said there are plenty of other options for females:

“We are not violating Title IX,” Mathews told WTTE-TV in Columbus, referring to the federal law that bans gender discrimination in federally funded school programs, including sports. “We have opportunities for girls, but those opportunities do not include contact sports.”

However, the ACLU said this is “unacceptable and unlawful.” Jenkins played youth football in Baltimore, OH and in a football league outside of the district:

“Some people have different goals and dreams they want to follow, and if they want to play a sport, (they) should be able to play a sport no matter what gender you are,” she told WTTE.

“It sets me apart from everybody else, and it lets other people know it’s OK to be different and you don’t have to follow what everybody else does,” she said.