Target: Patrick Stuart, CEO of Strong Rock Christian School
Goal: Reinstate 12-year-old female football player who was barred from playing because of her gender
A 12-year-old girl was recently barred from playing football at a private school in part because of fears the boys on the team would have “impure thoughts” about her. Tell the school that this gender discrimination is not acceptable and to allow the girl to play the game again.
Madison Baxter, 12, was told she was not allowed at tryouts for the seventh grade team at Strong Rock Christian School because she is female. In a meeting with school CEO Patrick Stuart, the girl’s mother said that part of the reason she was barred was because the boys on her team would have “impure thoughts” about her. “I was told that the reasons behind it were one, that the boys were going to start lusting after her and have impure thoughts about her and that the locker room talk was not appropriate for a female to hear even though she had a separate locker room from the boys,” Cassy Blythe, Madison’s mother, told WXIA-TV. Madison had started on the sixth grade team and has been playing football since she was in the second grade.
In response to the removal, Blythe created a Facebook page, “Let Her Play,” in support of her daughter and female athletes in schools. “When I was told my gender would prevent me from continuing my dream I was crushed,” a post by Madison on the “Let Her Play” Facebook page reads. “I felt like my heart fell on the floor and the school stomped on it. I worked hard to earn my spot and I deserve to play. I will never allow someone to tell me I can’t do something I’ve already proved I can do.” In the post, Madison addresses fears that she could be hurt while playing and writes that she understands the risks of playing in a male-dominated sport. The page also claims that parents of the girl’s former teammates have come forward in support of Madison’s right to play.
Tell Strong Rock Christian School that gender-based discrimination is not an acceptable practice at schools anywhere, and to allow Madison to try out for the seventh grade team by taking a moment to sign the petition below.
Dear Patrick Stuart,
I urge you to allow 12-year-old Madison Baxter to try out for the seventh grade football team. Your fears that Madison would be unwelcome because her male teammates would have “impure thoughts” about her are unfounded and discriminatory. Madison earned her place on the sixth grade team, and her performance at tryouts, not her gender, should determine if she can play on the seventh grade team.
Gender equality is an important lesson to teach young people. Take a stand for female athletes in schools and allow Madison back to the sport.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Public domain