The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 5, 2013

Equality must work both ways

Daily Item

---- — I can't argue with the facts put forth by my mentor, longtime Daily Item sports editor John Huckaby ("Why limit participation in the sport," Letters, Nov. 1).

But I find interesting the newspaper's use of the word "precedent" a day later when offering its own opinion on the federal lawsuit against Line Mountain over a student's desire to wrestle.

There is a precedent -- it was a ruling in the very same federal district court, just over a decade ago. In upholding that ruling, the Third Circuit court of appeals in Philadelphia noted, "There is no constitutionally protected right to play sports."

And, while the editorial dances around the difference between the genders, the simple reality is this: If it's unconstitutional to keep a girl off a boys team, then it must be equally so for boys on girls teams.

The latter is something the PIAA is working to address -- based on complaints from girls' families who find it appallingly unfair -- but will become a moot issue on behalf of those girls if this case is allowed to proceed to a ruling. Line Mountain could become a pariah by allowing this case to move forward. The Women's Law Project, representing the wrestler, should itself be asking whether it benefits all to fight for this outcome, or if this is another case where one person's desire trumps all.

Jeff Fishbein, Selinsgrove