The South Dakota High School Athletic Association has decided to suspend a rule that limits competitive dance teams to girls.
The dispute arose over a request by Freddie Linden, a freshman at Dakota Valley High School in North Sioux City, South Dakota, to be part of competitive dancing in the state.
When he was refused, the Pacific Legal Foundation filed a complaint on behalf of the 15-year-old.
Now the PLF has confirmed that the state association is suspending its rule.
“The association did the right thing and voted to suspend the discriminatory rule for the upcoming school year,” said Caleb Trotter, a PLF lawyer.
“As a result, our client, Freddie Linden, will be able to dance this fall. We commend the association for its quick action in changing the rule before school lets out for the summer. In the coming months, the association will consider making a permanent change to the rule, and we are hopeful that the association will permanently remove the rule and just let the boys dance.”
He confirmed that the legal complaint will be revaluated, and all options are being considered.
WND reported in April when it was filed because while Linden has been dancing since the age of seven, he was denied participation in the school’s competitive dance team because he is a boy.
That, the PLF contended, violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.
At the time, the PLF reported, “This lawsuit would not affect schools’ ability to have sex-specific sports. That is, a school may establish both girls-only and boys-only basketball teams, which ensures equal opportunity. But as with any other type of discrimination, government needs an exceedingly persuasive reason for restricting athletic opportunities to just one sex.”
Linden had been dancing for years while he lived in Los Angeles, and even appeared in multiple television spots, a music video and more.
WND also has reported on the case of a Wisconsin school student who is barred by Minnesota state rules from competing in events in the neighboring state.
Again, only because he is a boy.
Now federal investigators have started looking into the case that involves the Minnesota State High School League.
In that case, it’s Kaiden Johnson, a 15-year-old sophomore at Superior High School in Superior, Wisconsin, who has danced competitively for eight years. Recently, on the school’s varsity dance team, he went across the state line to an event in Minnesota, where he was banned from the competition.
In that case, the PFL had suggested a fix, then filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
PLF said the Minnesota State High School League is violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and is under investigation by the OCR.
“This is the first vital and important step in ensuring that Minnesota boys have an equal opportunity to dance,” PLF said. “Minnesota, which relies on outmoded stereotypes about why boys should be prohibited from dancing, will now have to justify its discriminatory decision to the United States Department of Education.”