Can a parent sue coaches/school for deliberately impeding an athlete from having a fair opportunity to play in a sport? 1 Answers as of July 11, 2017

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Lawyer for Independent Media | Sue Basko
It is the policy of the State of California to afford all persons in public schools, regardless of their disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code, equal rights and opportunities in the educational institutions of the state. If a student-athlete has been kept out of a sport based on one of these categories, then legal action might be appropriate. However, the legal action would probably be to seek an administrative remedy first, and only if that does not work, move to a lawsuit. If it is not a situation of discrimination, but rather of judgment on the part of the coach, that is probably a matter to bring to a principal or the school district. There could be many legitimate reasons for keeping a student off a team or less active on a team, including the student's discipline record, grades, behavior, lack of team spirit, disrespect for the coach or game officials, play that endangers others or that the sport endangers the student, and on and on. Most coaches become good at making such assessments. Most teams require try-outs and some make it onto the team and others do not. If it looks like a student has been kept off a team for reason that is considered discrimination, it may be time to discuss this with a local lawyer or with an agency or organization in your area that deals with civil rights.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/11/2017
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