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Court drama

7th-grader sues school so she can play on boy’s basketball team

By WITW Staff on December 27, 2016

The parents of a seventh grader have filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey school, claiming that the institution will not allow their child to play on the boy’s basketball team.

Twelve-year-old Sydney Phillips used to be an all-star player on the girls’ basketball team of St. Theresa’s School in Kenilworth, but the team was ultimately disbanded due to lack of interest among other female students. According to, Sydney and her parents approached school officials and asked that Sydney be able to join the boys’ team instead. When their request was not granted, the family decided to file a lawsuit against both the school and the Archdiocese of Newark.

“I’m not looking for money,” Scott Phillips, Sydney’s father, told “I just want her to play basketball.”

The lawsuit claims that no specific rule exists to prohibit Sydney from joining the boys’ team. In a legal brief responding to the suit, St. Theresa’s said that Sydney’s application to play on the team was filed late.

A court hearing on the application for the injunction will be held on January 5th.

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