Catholic school basketball team votes to keep its girl players
Two fifth-grade girls in New Jersey play on a boys' basketball team. They have been on the team for a few years. Not long ago, they got some bad news. The team was told it is against the rules for girls to play with boys.
The kids are from a New Jersey school called St. John the Apostle. They are all fifth-graders.
The team is part of the Catholic Youth Organization league. The league is made up of teams from Catholic schools.
Girls And Boys Played Well Together
The two girls joined the boys' team after the school stopped having a girls' team. Not enough girls wanted to play basketball.
The girls were very happy to join the boys' team. It let them keep on playing the game they love.
The head of the league met with the team two weeks ago. He told them the girls would no longer be allowed to play. He said it was against the league's rules. The team had to make a choice.
Team Says It Is Not Fair
Even so, the whole St. John's basketball team showed up for their game last week. They were supposed to play St. Bart's.
The coaches would not let the game start.
Then a parent asked the fifth-graders what they wanted to do. Would they play the game without the girls? Or would they stay as they had been all season, with the girls on the team?
The children were asked to vote by raising their hands. All 11 voted to stay "as a team."
"It's not fair that we get to move on but they can't," one of the boys said.
Parents And Coaches Are Proud
The mother of one of the girls is also a coach with the team. She reminded the kids that "this would be the end" of their season. They would also not get to be in the playoffs.
"It doesn't matter," one boy said.
"These kids are doing the right thing," a parent said. She said it made her feel very proud. "We don't have to tell them what to do. They just know. It's amazing."
"It shows that they care," one of the two girls said. "I'm part of them just as they're part of me."
UPDATE The Archdiocese of Newark's archbishop, Joseph Tobin, announced the girls are to be put back on the team, the two regular games that were not played are to be rescheduled, and the team is to remain together for the playoffs.