Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Private religious school vs. private non-profit association

An intriguing article from Sports Illustrated - Kansas HS refuses female official: St. Mary's Acad. says woman cannot ref boys game raises some interesting questions. Perhaps from the religious standpoint: Can a woman not have authority over teenage boys? Or from a legal standpoint:

St. Mary's Academy is a private religious school. It gets its rules/theology from its archbishop or whatever religious authority it recognizes. According to the U. S. first amendment, this school can set its religious beliefs, regardless of what the rest of us think.

Kansas State High School Activities Association is a "private/non-profit association of accredited member schools, whose purpose is to administer a program of interscholastic activities, festivals, clinics and contests among member schools." As a private association, it can establish requirements for its membership.

Private religious school vs. private non-profit association. Who wins? Do the values of one trump the other? If so, which? Or is there some other answer?


clinch64 said...

That would seem to be one of the more difficult cases to come down the pike in quite sometime. It could even be one for the Supreme Court.

Sadly, on the surface it would seem the cards would already be stacked against the school, as religious entities are no longer held in the regard they once were.


R. L. Vaughn said...

I believe that St. Mary's should set its own standards of beliefs, and the Constitution supports her choice to do so. But I also believe that an association such as KSHSA should be able to set standards for its members.

So in my opinion, the resolution to this is for each party to go its own way -- voluntarily cease to associate with one another.

If KSHSA standards are not acceptable to St. Mary's, St. Mary's has every right to keep her convictions and play basketball in any venue that she can find or develop without female referees. Neither party should be forced to change to fit the other's standards, in my opinion.