PHILADELPHIA — A group of female student athletes have sued the School District of Philadelphia, alleging discrimination against black students interested in playing “traditionally white” sports of lacrosse and field hockey.
Strawberry Mansion High School student Nadirah McCrae and others say the district provided fewer resources to teams from lower-income or predominantly black schools. Other allegations include cancellation of buses to take girls to games and schedules that deny them games against predominantly white high schools.
“It made me feel like we weren’t good enough to play lacrosse,” McRae told CBS Philly.
According to the lawsuit, which seeks $250,000 in damages according to CBS Philly, McCrae says she had no choice but to sue since the district failed to file proper paperwork which lead to her losing a scholarship to the University of Hartford.
Attorney Aaron Freiwald says officials didn’t believe the students had real opportunities or would be able to handle them.
In a statement, the district says it works to ensure equity and last year had more than 250 female student-athletes participating on 20 teams in field hockey and girls lacrosse.
One of our core values as a school district is increasing opportunity in the classroom and on the playing field for all of our students regardless of race or gender. We work every day to ensure equity across the School District and that every child is given the opportunity to succeed. Last year we had more than 250 female student-athletes participating on 20 of our school teams in field hockey and girl’s lacrosse, and we continue to promote all sports within the Philadelphia Public League.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report