ACLU steps in after student athlete is reprimanded by school officials over wearing a sports bra

ByKaren Alvarez KTRK logo
Saturday, March 4, 2023
Spring Wood HS athlete disciplined for training in sports bra: ACLU
The ACLU claims the athlete was looked over for an award as the top runner on the girls' cross-country team and that the school's policies violate the 14th amendment.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The ACLU sent an eight-page letter to Spring Branch ISD after a student-athlete said she was disciplined for working out while wearing a sports bra in the sweltering heat.

The letter is claiming Spring Woods High School student and member of the girls' cross country and track team was reprimanded for wearing a sports bra while working out in 100-degree weather.

The ACLU claims she was denied an award for being the top runner on the girls' cross-country team because she expressed serious concerns about the district's dress code enforcement within its athletics program.

"No student should be mistreated because they spoke up for their rights," Liza Davis with the ACLU said.

Davis is one of two members representing the student.

SEE ALSO: ACLU sues Magnolia ISD over male students' hair length policy

She spoke with ABC13 and said this should have never happened in the first place, and it's why they're pushing for change.

The letter warns the school district that its existing policies, practices, and mistreatment of the student violate the 14th Amendment.

"We're asking for a meeting. We're hoping to work with them on changes so they can bring their policies and practices with their legal responsibilities," Davis said.

When ABC13 reached out to Spring Branch ISD, the district denied any discrimination, writing in part:

"We are aware of the situation with one student at one of our high schools who is dissatisfied with SBISD practices, which are applied to all athletes at that campus."

SEE ALSO: ACLU of Texas urges school districts to reexamine 'discriminatory' dress code policies

The statement went on to say they're investigating the matter.

Davis says she recognizes schools must have and enforce specific dress codes.

However, she says it crosses a line when it either censors student expression or targets a particular student, which she believes is what happened in this case.

"This is problematic because the punishments of dress code violations on top of the barriers that students of colors already face, it makes being targeted for dress code enforcement more severe," Davis said.