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.

learn more about

Linden v. South Dakota High School Activities Association

Fifteen-year-old Freddie Linden of North Sioux Falls, South Dakota can now lace up his dancing shoes as part of his school’s competitive dance team. The accomplished dancer already competes nationally on private dance teams, but the South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) established competitive dance as a “female-only” sport and prohibited Freddie from joining his high school team—because he is a boy. 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. Less than a month after PLF filed a federal lawsuit on Freddie’s behalf, the SDHSAA suspended its discriminatory rule for the upcoming school year, and will consider a permanent rule change in the coming months. Freddie has since made the school dance team for the upcoming school year—topping all scores at team tryouts.

Read more

What to read next