The court held that the district did not discriminate against the student with Asperger’s in connection with the tennis team. The coach used “challenge matches” to determine who would participate in tournaments, and the student with Asperger’s lost. This was not discriminatory.
As this case demonstrates, when there are more students who want to participate on a team than the school has room for, the school can make its decisions based on athletic ability. This student was not excluded from the team, but she was not eligible for tournament play because she failed to win a “challenge match.”
It sounds like the coach discriminated based on ability—not disability. That’s what coaches are supposed to do. The case is Clemons v. Shelby County Board of Education, decided by the federal court in the Western District of Kentucky on March 23, 2018. We found it at 72 IDELR 24.
DAWG BONE: DISCRIMINATE BASED ON ABILITY—NOT DISABILITY.
Tomorrow: The Yik Yak Case from the 4th Circuit.