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sports eligibility for the christian school student

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in the state of north carolina the law reads that every student under the age of 18, not yet having a diploma has access to the privileges offered in their local assignment school. (if they have not been thrown out because of misbehavior) nc 115c-366a. our son, caleb, is just about to enter 9th grade. he has been in a christian school and curriculum all his life. the small christian school lacks a tax revenue base, therefore cannot offer sports teams or extra-curricular activities. the north carolina athletic association allows students in alternative schools to participate in sports without attending the local assignment schools. these alternative schools are part of the public system, yet the student attending does not have to spend one minute of the day at his/her assignment school in order to participate. they must just meet the academic and course load requirements set by the athletic association.(they are not in attendance at their assignment school.) we have offered our local board our sons attendance and academic records to prove that he is meeting all the state and athletic association requirements for participation in sports. the board is willing, superintendant is not. if allowed, they say, our son will be a precedence, one that they do not want to open the door to. the athletic association should not make rules that do not line up with nc law. they are confusing when they allow students in alternative schools to participate, yet still do not allow my son to participate, he meets all the same requirements.(is it because he is in a religeous school? that seems discriminatory, too.) he meets the same course load and gpa as all the other participants. If taken to court do we have a chance. the state allows these matters to be handled at the local school board level, but we feel they cannot be handled arbitrarily, as allowing some in alternative schools, but not those meeting full requirements in an altenative religious school. we do not expect a voucher for taking on our son's education, nor do we expect exclusion. thank you, mrs. karen pope



I'm not an expert on North Carolina law because I practice only in Indiana, BUT if everything you have told me is true, then it sure looks like the superintendent is wrongly denying your child access to the activites that are provided for in the law.

What I would recommend you do is find an attorney in North Carolina who knows something about education law. It might take a few calls, but you'll be able to find someone.

That attorney could write a letter to the superintendent, detailing what you want and the justifications for it. That letter just might get you what you want at minimal expense.

Then if the superintendent still balks at allowing the participation, then you or the attorney can ask for a due process hearing.

You don't HAVE to have an attorney to go to due process, but it sure helps.

If you win substantially, the school will end up paying all the costs associated with bringing the action, including attorney fees.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions.

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