A Union parish high school student is suing the LHSAA for not allowing him to play his senior year because he was held back in the sixth grade. An LHSAA rule states that if a student is held back a year in middle school, he or she can only play three years of high school sports. The student’s attorney, Brian Blackwell, says the LHSAA’s decision violates the American with Disabilities Act, because the student repeated sixth grade because of ADHD.
“This student repeated sixth grade, and no other fact was important, and I just think putting blinders on like that is unfair,” Blackwell said.
Blackwell says the act requires reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities, and he is confident the court will rule in favor of this student.
“What the suit requests that the court do is to prohibit the LHSAA from enforcing this ineligibility rule in this particular situation,” Blackwell said.
Blackwell says teachers and doctors made a decision for this student that were in no way intended to challenge LHSAA’s eligibility rules. He says playing high school sports helps this student deal with his disability.
"His parents would say, and I think he'll say, his participation in sports has helped him deal with his ADHD," Blackwell said.
The LHSAA has not issued a statement on the case, but a court hearing is set for Friday.