School fines teenage girl for training in sports bra in 100-degree heat in Texas, ACLU says

A Houston-area teenager has enlisted the help of the American Civil Liberties Union after she said her school reprimanded her for training in a sports bra while male athletes were allowed to train shirtless.

The girl, identified only by her initials GH, says she is a cross-country and track and field athlete at Spring Woods High School in Houston. In a press release from the local ACLU chaptershe said she was disciplined for wearing a sports bra while exercising in 100-degree heat.

According to the ACLU press release, after the student complained, school district staff regarded GH “dismissively and denied her an award for top runner on the girls’ cross-country team.”

The student says she has the best track record on the team and has never missed a workout. She says the award would have been “key” to college applications and recruitment.

The ACLU sent a letter to Spring Branch ISD and warned the district that “it appears that district officials and employees have maintained and enforced the district dress code in a manner that reflects and reinforces vicious gender stereotypes and has treated the girls and boys of Spring Woods High School transnationally.” Teams vary in the quality of coaching and training, which violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments.”

The letter details GH’s treatment on the cross-country and track teams, noting that she felt offended by her coaches for speaking up and by changing standards in dress codes for student athletes.

Spring Branch ISD did not respond to’s request for comment on March 3.

The district gave the CBS affiliate in Houston, KHOUthe following statement:

“Spring Branch ISD denies any discrimination and treats students equally and fairly. We are aware of the situation of a student at one of our high schools who is unhappy with the SBISD practices that apply to all athletes on that campus. SBISD is currently investigating this matter.”

“I never thought it would come to this,” GH said in a press release. “I had faith that the people who were supposed to protect us would do so and would agree with us. Standing up for my teammates may never benefit me, but it will benefit the next young woman of color who looks like me.”

Liz Davis of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project also noted in the statement that GH is also the only black athlete on the cross-country team. The ACLU letter notes that GH believes the dress code was only enforced when she attended. “Black girls and other girls of color are disproportionately targeted for enforcing dress and grooming codes because of internalized, intersecting racial and gender stereotypes about appropriate female behavior and appearance,” the letter reads.

The ACLU letter concludes by arguing that the District dress code “Reaffirm broad and archaic generalizations about the inability of boys and men to control their sexual impulses and the inability of girls to make their own decisions about the clothing that gives them a safe and physical sense of well-being.”

The letter also states that “sports bras are the official uniform tops of this country’s most competitive women’s team, the US Women’s Olympic Track and Field Team.”

This article was originally published on School fines teenage girl for training in sports bra in 100-degree heat in Texas, ACLU says

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