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Pregnant and playing high school volleyball? Why not file a lawsuit?

Dec 8, 2009, 10:00 AM EDT

Well, a player on a Fort Worth high school volleyball team has filed a civil rights complaint against the school — and is considering a lawsuit — because her coach required her to get a permission slip from her doctor before she could continue playing. Oh, did I mention that the player is pregnant?
Even though the season ended last month, MacKenzie McCollum and her mother are not done fighting with the school district over the issue.
Video following the jump.

Mackenzie McCollum, 17, a senior at Arlington Heights High School, filed a civil-rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, said Lara Kaufmann, the girl’s attorney.

The agency is investigating the complaint, Kaufmann said.

McCollum missed several key games that could have cost her a college scholarship before she obtained a doctor’s approval and returned to the team, the lawyer said.

“It was peak recruiting season,” she said.

Kaufmann, an attorney with the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., said the district violated Title IX, the landmark law passed in 1972 aimed at ending sex-based discrimination in public schools.

“They can’t just categorically exclude students who are pregnant,” Kaufmann said. “They need to treat everyone the same.”

This is the first case I know of involving sex-based discrimination in which the person was actually having sex. So what happens when the irresistible force of Title IX meets the immovable object of a potential suit against the school if the pregnant girl is injured during a game? Talk about your no-win situation for the school.
But here’s another wrinkle: McCollum told ABC News that while she was gone, her coach told the rest of the team that she was pregnant. Then when she came back he limited her playing time.
In my opinion the father should be located and beaten up. Sorry; that’s the only solution I can come up with.

Pregnant Volleyball Player Serves Complaint to FWISD [NBC Dallas-Fort Worth]
High School is a great place to learn how to file suit [Lewp's Weblog]
Sidelined [Good Morning America]

  1. Carol - Dec 8, 2009 at 11:18 AM

    Are you kidding?!! If this girl would have been injured, or the baby, she would have been suing the school district for that! People are just nuts, and so are the lawyers who take on such frivolous cases. Anything for attention. This girl needs to get a life and worry about how to take care of the baby, not if she is getting a scholarship for college!!!

  2. LewP - Dec 8, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    I totally agree Carol. The next thing you know, if she gets to play, she will be filing a lawsuit because the opposing team served the ball too hard. Incredible.

  3. willmose - Dec 8, 2009 at 11:48 AM

    Amazing how sexist you are! Let’s beat up every sport blogger that has had sex with an unmarried female (okay, so that is only three of you if you exclude sex with hookers and/or sisters). Sorry, but all high school athletes play at their own risk and their parents sign statements affirming that. Now some coach says wait a minute because a girl got knocked up? How many high school football coaches play boys that have had their “bell rung”? After all girls shouldn’t even be allowed to go to high school. What do girls need an education for when all they are fit to do is pump out babies and cook.

  4. Kage10 - Dec 8, 2009 at 11:57 AM

    Does that stupid girl really think she’s going to get a scholarship to a university to play college volleyball when she’s playing pregnant? Give me a break! She’d have to be off the chart good and there’s no way she could be if she’s running around pregnant. Jumping and diving is hardly easy without a baby on board.

  5. Bob Loblaw - Dec 8, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    Yeah, alright … let’s throw common sense out the window so that we don’t appear to be “sexist” towards a pregnant teenager, who doesn’t just have her health to look out for … oh yeah, there’s a baby too!

  6. willmose - Dec 8, 2009 at 7:29 PM

    The sexist comment was about beating up the father! What’s wrong with pregnant teenagers? Half the world wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for pregnant teenagers. Common sense? Common sense used to say that pregnant teenager should stay home and not go to school so they would “infect” the other students. The coach wasn’t looking out for her health, he was covering his ass.

  7. sratmaker - Dec 8, 2009 at 9:07 PM

    Willmose i can’t believe that you really believe what your saying,That girl has not right to put a unborn child life in danger like that just to play a damn game, if she’s that good she’ll be that good after she has the baby and I know if she was your child you wouldn’t let her play,And if you would it would be all about the money cause you know she’d lose the baby and you’d file a suit, And if I’m wrong then you are really that damn stupid

  8. ken - Dec 8, 2009 at 10:55 PM

    I think this girl and her mom need to grow up. It makes for an interesting argument: “since I didn’t play because I was pregnant (and any doctor would advise against playing while pregnant) I won’t get a scholarship to play in college. It must be someone elses fault tat I made poor choices and had sex before I was married”. You are a mother now. Forget about “playing” games and do what is best for your child, which any moron would tell you, is NOT playing sports while you are pregnant. If I were the coach (and I coached girls varsity softball for years) I would have sat her also.

  9. matt - Dec 9, 2009 at 12:10 AM

    This is the dumbest mom and daughter I’ve ever seen. Hello, you got pregnant. It’s not the coach’s fault or the schools. The doctor’s notice said that she could play, but not get hit. Well, if the coach doesn’t tell the team, how will they know not to hit her. How does she help the team when she can not dive, get hit, or get her heart rate up. These people are stupid.
    To the WOMAN conducting the article, your as dumb as they are. You show the family praying, but really fail to mention that the “young Christian girl” was sexually active outside the view of the camera. You also focus on the school and the coach, but you really miss the target when you failed to mention the other side of the story like the school’s liabilities, concerns from other players (who are afraid to play next to her in fear of hurting the baby), or how the team would be effected if the player could not dive after balls, play hard, not get hurt or get her heart rate up. Yea, the school and coach are really bad people. ONLY IN AMERICA!

  10. Sid - Dec 9, 2009 at 12:37 AM

    I think this student/player and her mother are out of their mind. They are not thinking about the consequences if she got injured, or the unborn baby. Please wake up and drop that case and write an apology to the school. Is it grid? If she’s concern about her scholarship, she should have think twice having sex unprotected, I assuming she’s unmarried single.

  11. Ronnie Cook - Dec 9, 2009 at 7:11 AM

    What a nut case!

  12. KEY QUESTION - Dec 9, 2009 at 7:38 AM

    This is just deflecting the real issue. WHY IS THE 17 YR. OLD PREGNNT IN THE FIRST PLACE? If she really cared about college she would have been in school and not in bed.

  13. narlee - Dec 9, 2009 at 9:21 AM

    We all agree on one thing ( only in america ).But as stupid as it is,if she goes to court she will probably win.Common sense in these united state’s is a thing of the past!!

  14. The Idey - Dec 9, 2009 at 9:52 AM

    There’s a few inaccuracies between the written and the video and the video contradicts itself.
    If the school said get a doctors note and you can play, then she should be able to play. If the coach reduced her playing time to protect her, and the school, then that is fine. She still gets to play, just not as much. Whether the school is doing it to protect themselves or their image, it still protects the pregnancy. This little girl is so concerned with playing volleyball, not so much with making sure the pregnancy has every chance to go well.
    If the school had a policy to not have injured or pregnant players from participating in school events that may possibly bring them harm and put the school in a liability scenario, then they have every right.
    At this point she does get to play on a limited basis so it wasnt cut off.
    Be that as it may, i’m sorry it was recruiting season, maybe you should have thought about that before you starting having unprotected sex, 17 year old girl. What did you think was going to happen. There is absolutely no reason why you should be having sex 1st off, 2ndly without birth control.
    Oh, and dont even start talking about your christian upbringing. If that was the case, you wouldnt be a 17 year old having sex, much less unprotected sex with the stranger that of course, isnt in the picture anymore, which means, he was a loser.
    LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR DAUGHTERS IN AMERICA PEOPLE. GET OFF YOUR DUFFS AND BE BETTER PARENTS!!! Oh and by the way, your lawyer is an idiot. This is not a sexual discrimination case. This is a school protecting itself and the student.
    What this really all boils down to is parents not being good parents and underage girls having unprotected sex.
    Underage teenage girl, you are a mother now. You need to focus on your studies and your upcoming pregnancy and how you are going to live this life as a single mom. I hope you can still go to college and get an education and give this child some kind of chance.
    Last time i checked however, educational institutions and people in general don’t support the message that being an underage teenager, who had UNPROTECTED SEX, and got knocked up by a guy who is no longer in the picture was a good thing.
    oh, and willmose, you are ignorant, case closed.

  15. olin - Dec 9, 2009 at 9:57 AM

    she becomes obsessed with the best she can be!!…LOL….maybe she should have become obsessed with keeping her legs closed!

  16. LTKiwi - Dec 9, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    Wow. The mother and soon to be mother are knocking my faith in humanity down a few pegs. I’ll bet the scum-sucking lawyer is happy. If she doesn’t play, he gets money in the lawsuit. If she plays, when not if, something happens to the baby he gets money from the lawsuit.
    The mother and soon to be mother need to get their priorities straight. They have a child on the way! Why do they still care about volleyball! Not to mention how is she going to function at college, with the homework and volleyball practices and new baby? Unless she plans on ditching the kid with her mother all year.
    Never underestimate the stupidity of humanity.

  17. geezstring - Dec 9, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    This is why the world is in such a mess – the solution to this problem is so easy. She should not be allowed to sue anybody except the father of her yet to be child (if she knows who that is) or her parents who raised a stupid kid. Why would anybody get a scholarship to play volleyball? The whole deal is moving forward because either the parents don’t have the money for college or they are looking for a book deal – both are directly attributable to greed. I would not have let her play on the team at all.

  18. willmose - Dec 9, 2009 at 4:10 PM

    Well, gee you learn something new every day. Playing volleyball will endanger the life of the unborn child? I guess the doctor that said it was okay was flat out wrong. Pregnant women not exercising really endanger the life of their unborn child. That’s the fact jack. sratmaker you are oblivously some male that feels you have the right to tell ALL women what to do with their lives and make all their choice because you have what a two incher tangling between your legs.

  19. willmose - Dec 9, 2009 at 4:11 PM

    Teenage girls have been getting pregnant for millions of years (or 5000+ years for you young earth idiots). Get over it. Your outrage at some unknown teenage girl getting pregnant is curious. You lecture her and her parents. For what? Bringing another child of God into the world.
    What makes you think that you have the right or wisdom to advise strangers about morality? Getting pregnant was her choice (along with the father). I rejoice at any child coming to the world. You somehow what to make that dirty or obscence or bad parenting.