Yesterday, a judge ruled that Audrianna Beattie can wrestle on the Line Mountain wrestling team!
One thing I never expected – the amount of people that think she shouldn’t be able to. I never realized there was so much opposition to girls on the wrestling team.
But maybe I’m not looking at it the right way.
Here’s the judge ruling, read it and send me your thoughts – I am ready and willing to debate!
WILLIAMSPORT — Audrianna Beattie may continue to participate in the wrestling program at Line Mountain Middle School.
U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann saw to that Monday when he issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the school district from taking any action that wouldinterfere with the girl’s efforts to participate on the same terms as boys.
The judge found if he did not grant the requested injunctive relief, Audrianna would suffer irreparable harm in her development as a wrestler.
“There are no available opportunities to participate in the sport that are of the same frequency and quality as those accompanying the school district’s wrestling program,” he wrote.
The Bison Legend Club at Bucknell University would not provide the same quality wrestling experience as at the middle school, he said.
Brian and Angie Beattie, of Herndon, brought suit on behalf of their daughter claiming the district policy that prevents girls from wrestling boys violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and the Pennsylvania Equal Rights Amendment.
Brann rejected the district’s safety, anatomical differences, moral, emotional and psychological claims. The school district did not identify a single example where a female wrestler was injured by a male, the opinion states.
District witnesses agreed both sexual harassment and touching intimate body parts could occur just as easily with two boys wrestling, it states. At a November hearing, the district failed to present expert testimony regarding any emotional or psychological risks from allowing co-educational wrestling, the judge said.
Brann found the district’s policy to be “overinclusive” because it prevents females from wrestling when they may be equally strong or stronger than some boys on an individual basis.
He also found the district failed to establish that girls are at a greater risk of sexual harassment than are boys. The district could not articulate any specific instances of males inappropriately touching females while participating in wrestling, he said.
While the district raised a valid concern about male coaches demonstrating moves on female wrestlers, coaches need not demonstrate moves on each individual wrestler, the judge said.
Brann did not require the Beatties to post a bond because he said adhering to the injunction raises no risk of monetary loss.
The Beatties, who moved to Herndon in 2012, began trying nearly a year ago to get the school board to allow their daughter to wrestle.
After the board rejected their requests, they filed suit.
Brann issued a temporary restraining order on Nov. 1 that allowed Audrianna to sign up for wrestling.
Her parents had pointed out she had wrestled in Iowa, where they formerly lived, beginning in the third grade. Last year in club wrestling, she posted a 5-3 record and never complained of being injured they said.