October 10, 2017

Fighting for inclusion and fairness in Minnesota

By Fighting for inclusion and fairness in Minnesota

Hear directly from PLF client Kaiden Johnson and his mother, Miranda Lynch, as they explain their willingness to fight for the right that school athletics can’t turn kids away based on their sex.

Kaiden Johnson is a 15-year-old sophomore male student at Superior High School of Superior, Wisconsin. Kaiden has danced competitively for eight years, and a year ago successfully competed for Superior High’s varsity dance team. Because the city of Superior borders Minnesota, Superior High’s athletics teams primarily compete against five Minnesota high schools located in the Duluth, Minnesota metropolitan area; Superior High and these Minnesota schools, along with one other Wisconsin high school, comprise the Lake Superior Conference, a division of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL).

At a Lake Superior Conference dance competition held this past December, Kaiden was prohibited from competing with his team based on his sex. MSHSL officials in charge of the competition forced Superior High’s dance team to comply with the league’s designation of dance as a female-only sport, consequently prohibiting Kaiden from competing due to his sex.

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K.J. v. Minnesota State High School League

Kaiden Johnson loves competitive dance, and he is a valued member of the varsity dance team at Superior High School in Superior, Wisconsin. But the team primarily competes against high schools across the river in Duluth, Minnesota—and the Minnesota State High School League has a “girls only” policy for dance teams.

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