Is the hockey field level?May 15, 2012 @ 8:26 am (Updated: 12:50 pm - 5/15/12 )
14-year-old Keeling Pilaro is a pretty good field hockey player at his Long Island High School. The problem is that Field Hockey is a girls' sport, and Keeling -- is a boy.(AP Photo/Andrew Pilaro)
14-year-old Keeling Pilaro is a pretty good field hockey player at his Long Island High School. The problem is that Field Hockey is a girls' sport, and Keeling -- is a boy.
"I just love playing because it's just so much fun," said Pilaro.
It was a boys game in Ireland where he grew up -- but his school on Long Island was happy to let him join the girls, as long as he wore the same uniform. So he wears a skirt. No problem.
"My friends will make jokes about it, but they're not mean jokes. They're like sarcastic funny jokes, like I laugh along, as long as I'm playing," said Pilaro.
So everybody was fine with it -- but then, according to the high school athletic association, he got too good. And in March he was told he would not be invited back next year. He couldn't believe it.
And his parents wouldn't stand for it.
"I feel like Title IX should be supporting my son," said Pilaro's mom.
Title IX, which states no person can be excluded from participating in any publicly funded educational activity on the basis of sex.
Civil rights lawyer -- Cynthia Augello isn't so sure it applies in his case.
"While he's out there playing, some female is on the bench that wouldn't have been on the bench otherwise."
But it won't be going to court, because today the athletic association has granted Pilaro appeal so he will be back on the field next year.
Good news especially when you consider the real story here. The real story is not that a boy is playing field hockey. The real story is that a boy is playing field hockey in a skirt, and isn't being bullied. When a school achieves a breakthrough like that, why would you mess with it?
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