May 8, 2018

South Dakota will let boys dance

By Caleb R. Trotter Attorney

Last month we sued the South Dakota High School Activities Association for its discriminatory rule that prohibits boys from participating in high school Competitive Dance. Today, the Association did the right thing and voted to suspend the discriminatory rule for the upcoming school year. As a result, our client, Freddie Linden, will be able to dance this fall. We commend the Association for its quick action in changing the rule before school lets out for the summer. In the coming months, the Association will consider making a permanent change to the rule, and we are hopeful that the Association will permanently remove the rule and just let the boys dance. As for our lawsuit, the legal team is currently weighing all of its options moving forward.

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Linden v. South Dakota High School Activities Association

Fifteen-year-old Freddie Linden of North Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has been dancing since age seven. He is now an accomplished performer who competes nationally on a number of private dance teams. But Freddie cannot join his high school’s competitive dance team—because he is a boy. The South Dakota High School Activities Association established competitive dance as a “female-only” sport. The rule is a misguided effort to comply with federal Title IX requirement that violates Freddie’s constitutional right to equal protection of the laws.

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