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Federal Judge's Ruling Allows Two Girls To Join Jr. High Wrestling Team


This week, the wrestling team from Central Davis Junior High in Layton attended its opening meet of the season. And, as a first for Davis School District, two of the athletes that competed are female.

Davis has allowed girls to compete in wrestling at a high school school level. But until recently, this policy did not apply to junior high.


Kathleen Janis is one of the two female athletes now included on the team. And her mother Kelly has been integral in helping her get a tryout.


After several failed attempts to sign her daughter up, Kelly filed a federal lawsuit. She argued that current district policy is unconstitutional.


“It’s the fact that you don’t deny any child, male or female the opportunity to try," says Kelly Janis.


While the case is ongoing, US District Court Judge Robert Shelby has issued a temporary order allowing Kathleen and her teammate, 8th grader GabbiSerrao, to compete with their school.


Kelly Janis was there on Tuesday when the girls represented Central Davis for the first time.


“It was amazing," says Kelly. "That’s what we have been fighting for. Not just for my daughter, but for all the girls who want to wrestle.”


District spokesperson Chris Williams has said that current district policy is based on federal law. And that guidelines differ from high school to the junior high level.


But following the court’s final decision, that policy might be changing.


Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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