Settlement allows Minnesota boys to dance competitively

MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota boys will be allowed to compete alongside girls on high school dance teams starting the next school year, following the settlement of a lawsuit against the Minnesota State High School League that claimed sexual discrimination.

The league said in a statement last week that the settlement avoids further litigation and allows the league, its nearly 500 member schools and the Minnesota Association of Dance Teams to prepare for the 2019-2020 dance season, the Star Tribune reported.

Juniors Dmitri Moua and Zachary Greenwald sued last July saying the league’s girls-only bylaws violate Title IX, the federal law that bars sex discrimination in education programs that receive federal funds.

A federal judge initially denied the request, saying the league was allowed to create girls-only teams. But the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month reversed the judge’s ruling and remanded the case to the lower court to issue the boys’ injunction to allow them onto the teams. The appeals court cited the 14th Amendment requirement of equal protection under the law.

The issue of whether banning boys from competitive dance constitutes gender discrimination hasn’t been litigated in federal district court.

Moua and Greenwald had both sought a rule change so that other boys wanting to competitively dance in the state wouldn’t have to sit on the sidelines. The boys, who had served as team managers for the all-girls dance teams, will be able to compete in their senior year.
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