Philadelphia school district faces discrimination claims

Philadelphia School District headquarters at Broad and Spring Garden streets (Emma Lee/WHYY, file)

Philadelphia School District headquarters at Broad and Spring Garden streets (Emma Lee/WHYY, file)

A group of female student athletes have sued the School District of Philadelphia, alleging discrimination against black students interested in playing “traditionally white” sports of lacrosse and field hockey.

Strawberry Mansion High School student Nadirah McCrae and others say the district provided fewer resources to teams from lower-income or predominantly black schools. Other allegations include cancellation of buses to take girls to games and schedules that deny them games against predominantly white high schools.

Attorney Aaron Freiwald says officials didn’t believe the students had real opportunities or would be able to handle them.

The district says it works to ensure equity and last year had more than 250 female student-athletes participating on 20 teams in field hockey and girls lacrosse.

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