BALTIMORE, Ohio — A central Ohio district’s refusal to let a seventh-grader compete on a football team because she’s a girl has prompted requests that the board change its policy banning female students from school teams in such contact sports.
Makhaela Jenkins has played youth football around Baltimore, southeast of Columbus, but isn’t allowed on the active roster for her school team. As a girl, she is banned from participating in games and contact drills.
Liberty Union-Thurston District superintendent Paul Mathews argues the district’s policy doesn’t violate any gender-related regulations on participation because the district provides other athletic opportunities for female students.
Makhaela tells WTTE-TV in Columbus that she believes gender shouldn’t affect whether students can play their desired sports.
Her relatives contend she practiced, lifted weights and earned the right to play.