Catholic school expels girls over lawsuit to play basketball

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SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — A school in New Jersey expelled two students over a legal dispute to play basketball.

It started when 13-year-old Sydney Phillips wanted to play basketball for Saint Theresa’s catholic school.

But there were not enough players for a girls team, so she asked to play with the boys.

The school said no, so her family filed a lawsuit. That’s when the school expelled Sydney and her sister too.

When they tried to go back to school, the family says they were told they were trespassing.

“What kind of Catholic values is this? What about compassion?,” said the girls’ father Scott Phillips. “These girls, it’s the only school they ever been. It’s the only school they ever known. Their friends are all there. And they didn’t do anything wrong. They’re honor roll students.”

“It’s not like I kicked a teacher. It’s not like I cursed at the principal. All I did was say I want to play basketball and all of the sudden I’m expelled,” said Sydney.

The Archdiocese said all parents agree in writing to their school handbook.

An excerpt from the handbook reads, “If a parent implicates Saint Theresa school in a legal matter, the parent will be requested to remove their children immediately from the school.”

The Phillips family has filed an emergency appeal to try and get the girls reinstated.