parents recruiting allegations

Catholic school parents, teachers challenge recruiting allegations in federal civil rights suit

Originally published at Broad + Liberty

Parents and student wrestlers who engaged in school choice during the Covid-19 pandemic challenged recruiting allegations in federal court last week as part of their civil rights lawsuit.

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) imposed a series of stiff sanctions last year impacting wrestlers in the seventh through twelfth grades who transferred from the Forest Hills public school in Sidman to Bishop McCort, a private Catholic high school in Johnstown. The parents, students, and Bishop McCort principal Thomas Smith have argued that the transfers were academically motivated and done in response to the closure of public schools during the Covid-19 pandemic. The PIAA, however, has determined that the transfers were done for athletic purposes in violation of rules against recruiting. 

The suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania claims the parents and students were denied due process and penalized without evidence. A decision could be issued within the next few days in response to the plaintiffs’ request for temporary and permanent injunctions against the sanctions. There are fifteen Bishop McCort wrestlers involved in the litigation.

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