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MIFFLIN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT v. JOHN A. MONSELL (02/18/86)

decided: February 18, 1986.

MIFFLIN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, APPELLANT
v.
JOHN A. MONSELL, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Mifflin County in the case of John A. Monsell v. Mifflin County School District, Pennsylvania, No. 1074 of 1984.

COUNSEL

Norman L. Levin, Brugler & Levin, for appellant.

Timothy S. Searer, Searer, Helm & Torquato, for appellee.

Judges Doyle and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 174]

The Mifflin County School District (District) appeals from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas

[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 175]

    of Mifflin County (trial court) which preliminarily enjoined the District from implementing a policy limiting the number of students who could play on the District's interscholastic football teams. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse.

On June 25, 1984, the District's Board of Directors (Board) passed a policy which established a maximum of fifty-five (55) players on each high school's combined varsity and junior varsity football teams and a maximum of thirty-five (35) players on the ninth grade teams. This policy was enacted as a cost-saving measure, to be effective on August 30, 1984, and applied to all three high schools in the District.

John A. Monsell (Appellee) filed this complaint in equity on August 10, 1984, alleging that he is the father of two sons who participate in the District's interscholastic football program at Chief Logan High School and Middle School. Appellee is also the Head Football Coach at Chief Logan High School. The action was not brought on behalf of Appellee's sons, but by Appellee as an individual. Appellee asserted in his complaint that the Board

     manifestly abused its discretion by its arbitrary and capricious actions for the following reasons:

(a) Individual students' opportunities to participate in the Interscholastic Football Program are now determined by the attendance area in which the student resides;

(b) Said policy fails to consider the tradition and community involvement established and existing to different degrees at each of the District's ...


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