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Female Student Challenges Ban from School Football Team

BALTIMORE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio school district’s refusal to let a seventh-grader play football has prompted requests that the board change its policies on female athletes.

Makhaela Jenkins has played youth football around Baltimore, southeast of Columbus. But she isn’t allowed on the active roster for her school team, because girls are banned from participating in games and contact drills.

Liberty Union-Thurston District superintendent Paul Mathews argues the district’s policy doesn’t violate any gender-related regulations on participation because the district provides other athletic opportunities for girls.

Makhaela tells WTTE-TV in Columbus that she believes gender shouldn’t affect whether students can play their desired sports.

Her relatives contend she practiced, lifted weights and earned the right to play.

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