policy denies her the equal protection of the laws. This claim is equally without merit.
Reduced to its fundamentals, the Equal Protection clause is a "direction that all persons similarly situated should be treated alike." City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Ctr., Inc., 473 U.S. 432, 439, 87 L. Ed. 2d 313, 105 S. Ct. 3249 (1985). An equal protection analysis is called for, however, only if the challenged government action classifies or distinguishes between two or more distinct groups. In other words, equal protection only affords an individual protection against intentional discrimination that is based upon class membership. A person who brings an action under the Equal Protection clause "must show intentional discrimination against him because of his membership in a particular class, not merely that he was treated unfairly as an individual." Huebschen v. Department of Health & Social Serv., 716 F.2d 1167, 1171 (7th Cir. 1983); Handley v. Phillips, 715 F. Supp. 657, 673 (M.D. Pa. 1989); ARA Services, Inc. v. School Dist. of Philadelphia, 590 F. Supp. 622, 629 (E.D. Pa. 1984).
Plaintiff has failed to state with particularity how defendants have acted to create an irrational classification. Furthermore, she has not stated to which class of persons she belongs or, for that matter, that a class of persons subject to discrimination exists. According to the record, plaintiff is the sole Learnball advocate seeking access to Letsche or any other Pittsburgh public school. Under these facts, plaintiff at most has established that defendants treated her in a discriminatory and arbitrary fashion. The Equal Protection clause was not intended to address government action, however arbitrary, if it is directed solely at an individual.
However, to the extent that advocates of Learnball constitute a "class," the School's policy does not violate the Equal Protection clause. Classifications based on race, national origin, alienage, sex, and, illegitimacy must survive a heightened level of scrutiny in order to pass constitutional muster. Cleburne, 473 U.S. at 440-441. All other classifications need only be rationally related to a legitimate state interest. Id. at 440.
In this case, the School's policy is designed to promote a legitimate state purpose, namely the education of at-risk high school students. In addition, the School's policies are specifically fashioned to achieve this purpose. Dr. Nicholson has restricted the use of Learnball because, inter alia, it has not been shown to improve student's academic performance, it diverts too much class time away from actual instruction, and the skills it develops do not enhance a students' college or career opportunities.
Therefore, to the extent that defendants can be said to have created a class-based distinction between those who advocate Learnball and those who do not, we find that the School's distinction is rationally related to a legitimate state purpose and, therefore, does not violate plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the law.
We hold that defendants' policy does not violate plaintiff's First or Fourteenth Amendment rights. Accordingly, we enter judgment in favor of defendants and against plaintiff. The appropriate order follows.