Adams by and Through Adams v. Baker

Adams by and Through Adams v. Baker

Adams by and Through Adams v. Baker


In this case, the plaintiff was Tiffany Adams, a minor. Due to her age, her case was instituted by her biological mother, one Cyndi Adams. The Defendants included Karen Baker, Virginia Boyd, Tom Lipke, Mike Logue, Roger Maris, Janet Robinson, and Darrell Schooler, all of whom were members of the school board (LexisNexis 2). Others included Bob Neel, the superintendent of the district, and Kansas United States District (U.S.D). All the Defendants were acting on their individual capacities. The case was lodged and determined by the United States District Court for the District of Kansas (LexisNexis 2). This civil suit was filed on February 5, 1996, and was registered in court as Civil Action number 95-1508. The court made a verdict regarding this dispute on February 2, 1996. The case was civil in nature and related to the violation of the rights of and discrimination against the plaintiff.

The Key Facts of the Case and Lower Court Decision

The plaintiff, a fifteen-year-old female and a freshman at Valley Center High School, wanted to be included as one of the fighters in the wrestling team in her school. However, the school’s rules permitted wrestling only to male students, thus she was barred from participating (Justia). Consequently, she was aggrieved by this decision and opted to institute a legal suit against the defendants, seeking relief of injunction and monetary damages. The plaintiff’s application for a preliminary injunction was considered by the court since it believed that her case had a great possibility of being successful (Justia n.d).

Reason for The Appeal

This case was lodged in the United States District Court, D. Kansas. The plaintiff was aggrieved by the decision of the defendants to prevent her from being one of the competitors in her school’s team of wrestlers only because she was female yet the game was meant for boys. The case was determined by this court and did not proceed for an appeal.

Relevant Legal Issues/Question Being Challenged/Contested in Appeal

In this case, the court was expected to determine whether the action of the defendants to prohibit the plaintiff and other females from trying out for and taking part in wrestling was legally justifiable. The court was also expected to determine whether the rule barring the defendant and other females was constitutional and a violation of their constitutional rights. The court was required to determine whether the prohibition of females from wrestling on reasons for their safety was well founded. 

Court’s Decision and its Reasoning

In the initial stage, the plaintiff prayed the court to issue a preliminary injunction prohibiting the defendants from proceeding with the wrestling competition. Her application for this order was founded on the provisions of 42 U.S.C.S. §§ 1983, 1985. Also, this application was based on the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C.S. § 1681 (LexisNexis 3). In her application, the plaintiff averred that the defendants were infringing on her right to enjoying the protection of the law like any other person, especially the other students who took part in the sport. She argued that her prohibition from being one of the school’s wrestlers was founded on the reason that she is female, an argument which was unlawful and unconstitutional. The court allowed her prayers on the basis of 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983, but the prohibition did not mean to support any objectives of the government. The defendants argued that the defendant would be more prone to injury since she is female and the sports entail a danger of injury. The defendants supported this argument by highlighting a recent injury suffered by one boy who suffered a cut above his eye. Due to the injury, the boy bled profusely. In a different case, another boy was knocked down and landed on his head, a situation that made him become unconscious (LexisNexis 4). Also, the court clarified that there was likelihood that the defendants would not experience any harm if it considered and upheld the plaintiff’s requests for an injunction. Also, the court believed that if there was damage that could be suffered by the defendants upon the granting of the plaintiff’s prayers, it would be superseded by the probable harm to the plaintiff. Coincidentally, the wider public was interested in seeing the court protecting the constitutional rights of every member of the society. Due to the strength of these grounds, the court relinquished the bond requirement provided in Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(c).

Also, the court found out that the defendants’ prohibition of female students from taking part in wrestling was unreasonable. Although the safety of students is one of the key objectives of the government, the district’s policy affecting the plaintiff did not further this objective (LexisNexis 9).  In the court’s view, the defendants’ argument that the safety of the plaintiff was at stake necessitating her prohibition was unreasonable because the policy founded only on the widespread assumptions regarding the differences between males and females on physical strength (LexisNexis 9). The court dismissed the defendants’ argument that the prohibition of females from participating in wrestling was to prevent them from sexual harassment (LexisNexis 9). On its view, the court clarified that wrestling is only but a sport like any other and not a sexual endeavor.

Managerial Implications of the Decision

The decision of the court had an impact on all sporting activities with restrictions against males or females. This case was founded on the legality and constitutionality of the prohibition of female students from taking part in wrestling. As a result, there is a great likelihood that future complaints of similar prohibitions in other sporting activities would be argued based on the decision of the court in this matter. Also, policymakers and organizers of sporting activities would begin to maintain the equality of male and female participants since there is no legal and constitutional basis for prohibiting anyone from taking part in any sporting activity on grounds of gender.   

Types of Sport Organizations Impacted by This Decision

This decision of this court would affect all individuals and organizations involved in the regulation of sporting activities. In this case, the plaintiff sued her school’s board, the superintendent of the district within which the school was located, and Kansas United States District (U.S.D). As a result, this decision would affect the state agencies regulating sports and other institutions like schools.

Specific Impact this Case Would Have on Sport Organizations

This decision would limit sport organizations from prohibiting people from taking part in sporting activities on the basis of gender. The organizations will have to evaluate their gender-specific restrictions in sporting activities to determine if the same is in conformity with the government’s objectives. If the policies do not support any government objective; they would be relaxed or annulled.  

Why This Case Matters to the Sports Industry

This case matters to the sports industry as it revolutionized the sector. It determined that gender-based discrimination in sporting activities can only be permitted if the basis of such discrimination is founded on the achievement or furthering of important governmental objectives (LexisNexis 9). As a result, cases of the prohibition of certain individuals from taking part in certain sporting activities on gender grounds would reduce. Males and females would take part in many sporting activities they were initially prohibited from participating since the prohibition would be considered illegal and unconstitutional.

Works Cited

LexisNexis. “Adams by and Through Adams v. Baker, 919 F. Supp. 1496.” 2019.

Justia US Law. “Adams by and Through Adams v. Baker, 919 F. Supp. 1496 (D. Kan. 1996).” 2019. Retrieved from https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/FSupp/919/1496/1580969/


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