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Sioux Falls school gymnastics battle reaches court

Craig Wollman
South Dakota Public Broadcasting

The fight to keep the Sioux Falls gymnastics program alive has made its way to the courtroom.

The decision to pull the plug on the program, which represented a $75,000 investment against a $320 million budget, was met with outrage by student gymnasts and their families.

The school board cited cost and lack of participation as the biggest reasons to shutter the program.

Attorneys representing the students asked for the program to be reinstated for the 2023-24 school year.

The arguments of team members orbit Title 9, which mandates equal opportunities for boys and girls in school settings. At the federal courthouse in Sioux Falls, defense pointed to the addition of girls’ softball and wrestling to counter that argument.

The judge intends to return a ruling this week. The school district has agreed to not sell any gymnastics equipment until a final decision is reached.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture
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