Atholton's McFadden asks for injunction

Wheelchair athlete presses track point

Jurisprudence

March 22, 2007|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special To The Sun

Atholton wheelchair athlete Tatyana McFadden filed suit in federal court yesterday, asking for an overturning of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association's February ruling that she can't score points for her team at either the regional or state outdoor track and field meets this year.

Deborah McFadden, Tatyana's mother, said they're asking for injunctive relief so she can score points for her team when the regional and state meets come up in late May.

"It's fair and it's equitable," Deborah McFadden said. "We're just saying to let [her] count and send a message that all students count equally."

The suit is also asking for a quick ruling that would be made before the Class 2A West regional meet, set for May 18. The state meet is scheduled for the following week.

The MPSSAA's decision puzzled the family because it had recently reached a settlement with Howard County Public Schools that will allow McFadden to score from one to six points in any event she's in - one for each wheelchair participant.

It's a compromise because winners of events usually receive 10 points for their schools.

The settlement comes from a suit filed last year against Howard County asking simply that McFadden be able to participate. Judge Andre Davis, in federal court, issued the temporary injunction that permitted McFadden to compete last spring, but not score points for Atholton.

That agreement covers only Howard County meets or invitationals so McFadden can't score points for the Raiders if they go to another county.

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