State Sues IHSA on Behalf of Paralyzed Fenwick Student

Mary Kate Callahan fights for right to compete in state athletic tournaments.

junior Mary Kate Callahan, paralyzed in her legs, has been a standout student athlete, racking up accolades for her swimming, basketball and track accomplishments.

At 14 years old, she swam for a chance to earn a spot in the 2016 Olympics (see video). Last year, she was

But Callahan, 16, can't compete alongside her classmates in state-sanctioned tournaments because the Illinois High School Association doesn't have athletic standards for disabled students, according to a copy of a lawsuit expected to be filed in federal court Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

The suit is expected to be filed jointly by Attorney General Lisa Madigan's Office and Equip for Equality, a Chicago-based advocacy group representing Callahan. 

“I am a high school athlete, and I am like anyone else,” Callahan told the Chicago Tribune. “We put in just as much effort as anyone else.”

The Tribune reports the IHSA is looking for a solution. 


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