The Liberty Union-Thurston school district in Ohio has reversed a decision and will allow a 12-year-old girl to play football with boys.
The district had banned Makhaela Jenkins from the team because of her gender.
School superintendent Paul Mathews announced the decision, saying the district didn't want to spend tax dollars in defending the policy in court.
The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the school ban.
Mathews said the ban was in line with Title IX requirements, but that the cost of a lawsuit was a concern.
The ACLU of Ohio on Aug. 19 issued a statement.
“We appreciate that school officials have finally reconsidered their decision to ban Makhaela from the school’s football team. However, we respectfully disagree with officials’ continuing denial that their actions were anything less than unnecessary and illegal. The law remains very clear – as it has for decades,” said ACLU of Ohio senior staff attorney Jennifer Martinez Atzberger. “While we are glad that Makhaela will be able to return to the sport she loves, we urge school officials to ensure all other girls who wish to play contact sports are also able to do so. Officials should be proactive and create a non-discrimination policy to protect all students from the unfair treatment that Makhaela experienced.”