Sydney Phillips, a 7th-grade New Jersey student who was expelled after her family sued her school, must be allowed to return to class, an appeals court judge ruled Friday.
The legal saga began in December, after Sydney was told that she would not be able to play on the boys’ basketball team of St. Theresa’s School in Kenilworth. The school had disbanded its girls’ team, leaving Sydney without an outlet for her favorite sport. Phillips’ family sued, hoping to force the school to let their daughter play with the boys.
In January, a New Jersey judge found that the family could not prove their daughter had a legal right to play on the boys’ basketball team. But the conflict did not end there. Earlier this month, St. Theresa’s expelled Sydney and her sister, citing handbook rules stipulating that parents will be asked to remove their children from the school should they name the institution in a lawsuit.
Appellate Court Judge Amy O’Connor ruled, however, that the Phillips sisters must be allowed to attend classes, pending a hearing.
Speaking to NBC 4 New York after her expulsion, Sydney expressed her confusion. “I just asked to play basketball and now I’m being expelled,” she said. “[I]t makes no sense at all.”
Read more at NBC New York.