Twelve-year-old Maddy Paige has been kicked off her football team. The reason? Lust.
Paige has been asked by the heads of Strong Rock Christian, a K-12 private school in Locust Grove, Ga., to leave her football team as a preemptive measure against inciting lecherous and debauched temptations in other 12-year-olds.
Paige was an active player on Strong Rock’s sixth grade football team. As far as sixth-graders go, she was a productive member of her team. Her stats weren’t exactly gaudy (a handful of sacks in a season), but hey, she held down her role at defensive end. That is, until the school stepped in after the end of last season.
Different school figures have explained their decision to ban Paige from the team in different ways. The school’s athletic director, Phil Roberts, said the decision was based on official middle school policy, according to Devin Fehely of WXIA-TV Atlanta.
"Our official policy is that middle school girls play girl sports and middle school boys play boy sports," Roberts wrote in an email to the news station.
Paige’s mother, Cassy Blythe, told the station that Roberts’ explanation rings hollow compared to other reasons she was given in private conversation with school administrators.
"In the meeting with the CEO of the school, I was told that the reasons behind it were... that the boys were going to start lusting after her, and have impure thoughts about her," she said. "And that locker room talk was not appropriate for a female to hear, even though she had a separate locker room from the boys."
"It’s like taking my dream and throwing it in the trash," Maddy said about the school’s decision.
So, they’re not getting dressed together or showering together, but it’s still inappropriate?
I’m no philosopher, but when you ban preteen girls from being around boys while wearing shoulder pads, “inciting lust” sounds like a flimsy reason. After all, the rest of the girls on school grounds are wearing skirts and polos and aren’t covered in reeking hand-me-down padding.
If you think that's messed up, you're not alone. Paige's family started "Let Her Play"—a Facebook community aimed at getting her reinstated on the team and raising awareness of her situation. As of this writing, the page has well over 20,000 likes.
In summary, the school administrators asked for this. They let Paige play the first season and then banned her the next. You shouldn't do that to a little girl. Heck, you shouldn't do that to anyone.
On top of it all, they opened a whole can of tuna with their separate-but-equal middle school policy, and it’s beginning to look like they won’t be able to screw a lid on it.
Printing #FreeMaddy shirts as we speak.