Greenwood, IN asked in Education Law for Indiana

Q: For children whose parents don't want them to return to the classroom this fall, the school is offering online learning.

However, those who choose this option are denied access to extracurricular activities. Is there a legal remedy for this?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joel D. Hand
Joel D. Hand
  • Education Law Lawyer
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: The short answer is, probably not. Extra curricular activities are not considered to be a part of a student's right to a public K-12 education. It is my understanding that the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) changed its guidance this last Friday to allow for a case-by-case consideration of student-athletes utilizing distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic for participation in IHSAA sanctioned events. If your question is related to IHSAA athletics, you should contact your school's athletic director to determine if your child will now be eligible for consideration of a waiver for participation if your student is participating in distance-learning through the local public school rather than in-person classroom instruction. If your question pertains to an extra-curricular activity that is not an IHSAA sport, to have a colorable legal claim against the school, it would likely require a showing of evidence to prove some type of systemic and impermissible discrimination.

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