The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 4, 2013

A stand against discrimination

— I came across an article concerning a young female wrestler creating controversy over joining the team. The Line Mountain school board claims sexual harassment is too serious of a risk to take with allowing Audriana Beattie to be on the high school wrestling team. I think otherwise.

The fact is, she shouldn’t be punished for something a teammate might do. High school sports are supposed to provide equal opportunity; not to discriminate against women because of “so called” risks.

Everyone on the wrestling team faces a risk, whether it’s an injury, bullying, or sexual harassment. Men are not the only ones who can sexually assault, either. However, the only person in the position to claim sexual harassment is the victim. As an experienced wrestler, I believe she fully understands what wrestling entails and won’t going to feel uncomfortable with any of the moves.

In order to ensure safety to all teammates, I propose adult supervision during practices. This will enforce appropriate action and punish harassment if necessary. The result of the punishment should not affect Audriana negatively, although, as long as she is innocent.

My passion for establishing equal rights among women is the reason behind my argument. I don’t want Audriana to miss out on wrestling because of others’ judgement. I support her 100 percent and I hope she will inspire others to do what they want and disregard discrimination.

Julia Zerby

Selinsgrove Area High School