I have a feeling we’re about to open up a whole can of worms here but that’s never stopped us before, now has it?
Okay before I dive into this I need to tell you that my beloved Darling Casey is a softball player this year! Woot! Some of you may know she also plays volleyball but this is the first year she’s decided to give another sport a try. Now, you may also know she’s not the most aggressive kid (very, VERY unlike her brother) and she’s still learning the ropes out there on the field.
I say all that to present to you today’s debate. It centers around 13-year-old Keeling Pilaro, a boy who spent some time in Ireland was allowed to play on the field hockey team with the girls at his Long Island school until this year when he got good. Really, really good. Now Keeling is being told he no longer qualifies for the exemption that allowed him to play until this point.
The district says its hands are tied, that it’s really a matter of state law. See there’s an education provision that does allow school to ban boys from playing on girls teams if allowing them, “would have a significant adverse effect” on fellow female teammates. Though Keeling is under 5 feet tall and weigh less than a hundred pounds, it’s his skill level that officials say will create an unfair advantage. The ruling is being examined but if Keeling is not allowed back on the team, his mother says she’ll take officials to court.
When I first heard this story, I thought, “That’s ridiculous; let the boy play” but honestly I’m just not so sure now.
Back to Casey and softball for a moment (I know, I know, they’re different sports). I can say with a great degree of certainty, having a boy play on the team with her (especially if his skills were head and shoulders above all others) would suck the joy right out of the experience for her and she’d probably quit before she even got started.
So while I feel for young Keeling, I have to say I side with the school district on this one.
What about you what do you think? Should Keeling be allowed, despite his skill level, be allowed to play on the same team as the girls? Is this an unfair ruling to him? Or is allowing him to play, even though he’s so much better than the others, unfair to the girls? Lemme hear ya!
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