Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Two more students sue Hillsborough school district over athletics policy

TAMPA — Two Jefferson High School sisters have sued the Hills­borough County school district, saying they should be able to play softball after transferring this academic year from Blake High School.

The suit is the second recent challenge to the district's new athletic transfer policy, which was enacted to prevent schools from recruiting star athletes. Attorney Peter Hobson, who represents the plaintiffs and handled a previous suit for a Sickles High School football player, contends the district policy deprives students of rights guaranteed by a state law that says the rules "must allow a student to be eligible in the school in which he or she first enrolls each year."

In Hillsborough, a student who enters a school past ninth grade must sit out a year of sports unless he or she meets certain criteria. A district committee makes the call, and students can appeal to the School Board.

Kayla Jo Fernandez, a senior, has lived with her grandmother near Jefferson High throughout high school and helps care for her, according to the suit filed Jan. 2. Justine Fernandez, a sophomore, entered Blake for its Urban Teaching Academy but left after learning the program no longer offered college scholarships. Although Justine lives with her parents near Hills­borough High School, she was accepted into Jefferson through the district's choice program.

District spokesman Stephen Hegarty said he could not comment on a pending lawsuit.

Two more students sue Hillsborough school district over athletics policy 01/08/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 11:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84


    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General


    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  5. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest


    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.