Adams v. Baker

919 F. Supp. 1496 (1996)

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Adams v. Baker

United States District Court for the District of Kansas
919 F. Supp. 1496 (1996)

  • Written by Tammy Boggs, JD

Facts

As an eighth grader, Tiffany Adams (plaintiff) participated in her junior high school wrestling team, coached by Carl Konecny. A few boys forfeited their matches against Adams because they declined to wrestle a girl. Adams wanted to wrestle as a freshman in high school, and certain parents and boys objected. The school district (defendant) made a final decision to limit the wrestling team to boys, thus excluding Adams based solely on her gender. According to Konecny, who coached both the junior high and high school wrestling teams, there were certain general issues and inconveniences with allowing female wrestlers to compete, including a possible lack of female-only locker rooms at wrestling meets, that a male coach may have to physically contact female wrestlers in the chest and arm areas to treat injuries, and that girls usually have different weight-lifting abilities than boys. However, Konecny believed he would be able to continue coaching Adams and that injuries to boys and girls were equally serious. Adams sued the school district, challenging the district’s refusal to allow her to try out for the wrestling team on equal-protection grounds. The court granted a temporary restraining order in Adams’s favor, and Adams filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. The court held a hearing on the matter. The school district asserted that its reasons for excluding girls from wrestling were safety, fear of sexual-harassment litigation, potential disruption of the school setting, morality-based objections from district families, and various inconveniences.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Theis, J.)

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