ACLU contests RI school's pay-to-play sports edict

AP News
Posted: Dec 22, 2009 9:47 AM

A civil liberties group is challenging a North Smithfield school system policy that charges students a fee to play sports.

The Rhode Island affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union said Monday it had filed an administrative complaint with the state education department.

It says the policy, which requires a $150 fee from students seeking to play sports, violates state law. It also asks the school district to return to parents any money they've already paid.

School officials have said the fee is a necessary alternative during tough economic times to cutting sports programs. They've said they haven't aggressively pursued the fee from all student athletes.

Superintendent Stephen Lindberg did not immediately return a call seeking comment Monday.