Dad Challenges Mendon Upton School For Barring 6th Grader From Running

UPTON (CBS) – An Upton father has filed an unusual age discrimination complaint with federal education officials.

The man says that the Mendon-Upton school systems are barring his daughter from the middle school track team.

Kyla Gienger has cross-country for the school last fall, and finished top-ten at a state meet.

WBZ-TV’s Ken Macleod reports

But, the 12-year-old is in sixth grade, elementary school. Her dad says that’s why Miscoe Hill Middle School won’t let her race.

He has filed a federal age discrimination complaint with the Department of Education, asking them to intervene immediately.

School officials have acknowledged the suit, but declined to comment.

More from Ken MacLeod
Comments

One Comment

  1. emom says:

    WAIT I AM CONFUSED<,,,, if she is 12 years and in the 6th grade,,, and the track team is at the MIDDLE SCHOOL,,, then HOW and further more WHY is there a lawsuit for a elementary student that is not even in the MIDDLE SCHOOL being issued…. when you get to the middle sschool this fall ,,, sign up for track then…. but for god sake,, someone explain the rashional of this…. I am stumped by this…. truely puzzeld

    1. kmac says:

      Miscoe Hill Middle School is 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders.

    2. Bob Smith says:

      it’s called research. do it.

    3. Coralyn says:

      So excited I found this article as it made tnhigs much quicker!

  2. blah, blah, blah says:

    Middle school is actually 7th and 8th grade . . . formally known as junior high? Remember that? Just another parent who wants their ‘exceptional’ child (in their eyes) to exceed earlier than expected. Or, they want to receive ‘special treatment’ because their child ‘needs’ it and this will bring it to the attention of administration which will suck it up because they do not like confrontation and hides it when approached. So, so glad, my last child is graduating this year and do not have to deal with the ‘politics’ of this school system. This is IMHO . . . having two children who graduated the Mendon-Upton school system and wished we never moved to Upton 11 years ago!

  3. aj says:

    same rule at my middle/high school 7th grade and above only.

  4. Derek Brooks says:

    some school let an 8 year old girl play tennis against high school boys, so i don’t see the issue here. Let her compete, otherwise your just holding her back.

  5. David Talbot says:

    She is not even affiliated with the school. So why should they have to let her on the team. Would it work in reverse, say if a grade 12 student liked to play dodgeball or kickball, they should be allowed to play on a kindergarten or 1st grade team. After all that would be discrimination as well. Or how about I live in a town that does not offer a particular sport (say lacrosse) and my neighboring town does, wouldn’t they have to let me on the team? After all that’s the only way I could play the sport and they are a public institution. Let the girl train on her own or find a club that offers some competitions for her to compete. We are talking about track as in running, right ? Practice on the track like they are showing her in the clip. Yes, track is not a contact sport, but don’t, push the girl too high, why not try to get her on the varsity track team while you are at it. Sounds like the parent has dreams of the child going to the olympics. Give her some time to enjoy childhood and not push her too far to fast. She will be facing enough changes in her life over the next few years as she goes through puberty and the changes of becoming a teenager.

    1. Janice Shusas says:

      She is affiliated with the school.
      It’s 5th through 8th grade.
      The track team; however, only allows 7th and 8th graders. Which is clearly if not discrimination, clearly unfair to their students. She should have at least been given to opportunity to try out for the team.
      Thank you for doing your research before posting your comment.
      ~Some people just like to see themselves in print.

    2. Marmeny says:

      Wow. She is affiliated with the school.
      It’s 5th through 8th grade.
      The track team; however, only allows 7th and 8th graders. Which is clearly if not discrimination, clearly unfair to their students. She should have at least been given to opportunity to try out for the team.
      Thank you for doing your research before posting your comment.
      ~Some people just like to see themselves in print.

      1. David Talbot says:

        From what I read (the following sentence), I made my conclusions.

        But, the 12-year-old is in sixth grade, elementary school. Her dad says that’s why Miscoe Hill Middle School won’t let her race.

        See it says she is in 6th grade, elementary school and the school is the Middle School. In every town I have lived in Elementary and Middle School/Junior High are two different schools.

  6. Christopher says:

    I understand that the child should be able to participate in school sports. if the policy (written or other) has in the past been, and continues to be, 7th and 8th graders play, then I fail to see how the parent has a leg to stand on.
    What is so wrong with letting your child continue to train, grow, and mature so that they are better prepared to be a teammate. If he feels that she is so talented a runner, then get her a personal running coach and continue her development.

    Final thought-Earning a spot on the team as a 7th grader is far better for a child’s development than having Daddy sue to get you there.

  7. LB says:

    12 years old in the 6th grade? Or is she one of the ones that the parents held back a year so they would have an advantage? and now it is backfiring? Just wondering…

    1. MamaKas says:

      No, 12 yrs old is common for this time of year for a 6th grader. My daughter is 11 and she is the youngest in the grade.

  8. PE says:

    She sounds like she has potential. IIn some schools she would be applauded. Gifted young athlete’s should be given opportunity, not have to worry about fighting the system.

  9. tracey says:

    Sounds like maybe the child wants to do it! And I would hope that anybody who posts on this would do the same for their child! This is in my guess something that has not been an issue in the past. I applaud the father for pushing this. His daughter is good at track and should be able to join. For everyone that disagrees I am sure if your child came to you with something that was important to them you would look into it at all angles and find a way to fulfill there passion. Some of the posts here are just ridiculous and blah blah blah my child is exceptional in my eyes as well too bad you don”t view yours the same!!

  10. Dean Paine says:

    Get a grip dad, tell your daughter to wait until next year just like all of the other 6th graders at the school.

  11. Brandon says:

    If she waits she’ll be too good for the 7/8 grade anyway, at the rate she’s going. Find her another school. One which will let her get on with running against kids at her level. Besides. Unwritten policy sounds like no policy at all to me.

  12. emom says:

    Wait besides the school year is almost over ,, WHATS THE POINT NOW… I mean,,, if he approached this in september then ok ,,, BUT now with less than 2 months to go,, WHY EVEN TRY…. besides Middle school use to be 7th and 8th grades…… Oh and if my child came home and asked to join something I would ask the school ,, BUT I would not scream and shout and then try and SUE them to get my child to have a spot …. what message are we really sending to our future generation,,,, That if you DONT GET YOUR OWN WAY ………………… SUE THEM…. Beat them down to comply…. JUST SUE THE WORLD if you can have your own way,,,, what are we raiing selfishness, You sue someone if they damaged something or you… Lawsuits are becoming more and more frivolous lately… people seem to sue over everything…. This sends a dangerous message to our future….. something we should all be afraid of……………..

    1. Michael Harper says:

      You’re just hearing of it now… That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been going on for months. Gotta love the American legal system.

  13. chris says:

    my son is in 6th grade at miscoe. he placed 8th at the state meet in cross country. As our daughter jen also participated in track at 7th/8th grade (and placed 5th at the 1st middle school state meet), we never considered having our son be on the track team until 7th grade. there are many talented younger runners – a couple of 5th graders placed 5th and 10th at the state meet – their dad isn’t suing to get them on the track team.

    kids (and parents) need to learn that just because they want something it doesn’t mean they get it. wait your turn like everyone else. if this girl gets on in 6th it opens the door to ALL other 6th graders. there are no tryouts so everyone maikes the team. this means more coaching, more bussing and more money which everyone knows this district doesn’t have.

    while this girl may have some talent – she is not a prodigy. train over the summer, get ready for cross country season and wait til you are in seventh grade like the rest of the kids.

  14. Gary Gienger says:

    There is no lawsuit at the moment. It is a complaint. Read the article, not the internet locater.

    Age dioscrimination, which is against the school’s purported policy, as stated on their website, has occurred. The DOE will deterimine whetherFederal rules/law apply and, if so, whether the action of the school is illegal.

    Why is it that a child with talent should be told to “wait your turn?” The gifts of children should be promoted, not impeded by standing behind an unwritten, arbitrary, rule. There is no superior morality inherent in the word “wait”. There is nothing moral about failing to promote the gifts of a child.

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