SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A story we’ve been following since March now has developed into a lawsuit. 10 gymnasts are asking a judge to decide whether the Sioux Falls School District violated Title IX when it cut gymnastics.
First of all, the lawsuit is asking for a temporary injunction. They want to stop the district from selling any equipment while this case makes its way through court. Their ultimate goal is to bring the sport back to the Sioux Falls School District.
“I just want to talk about why it’s worth saving gymnastics and why I love it so much,” says Sophie DeGroot in a previous interview.
Students, parents and coaches tried to convince the Sioux Falls School Board not to cut gymnastics from the budget.
“We’ll do what we need to do to reach the participation targets that you the administration want to see, and if it’s about funding we will raise funds,” said Bobbie Tibbets, a parent fighting for the gymnastics program said at the school board meeting. Now, six months later, young gymnasts ranging in age from six to 17 are part of a lawsuit questioning whether the Sioux Falls School District violated Title IX.
The lawsuit claims school board members were told they could cut gymnastics because the district had added softball and girls’ wrestling. The lawsuit says that’s incorrect because, “The overall level of each gender’s participation, not the number of sports available to each gender is what matters.” Evidence included in the filing is an email from a parent and former gymnast, sent in April, warning school board members that if they cut gymnastics, the district might not comply with Title XI.
Now gymnasts are asking a federal judge to decide who is correct.
We reached out to the school district and a spokesperson told us the district will not talk about pending litigation. At this point, the district has not filed a response in court. Read the full document here.