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Anita Rademaker, As Parent and Next Best Friend of N.R., A Minor v. Jay Blair

December 22, 2010

ANITA RADEMAKER, AS PARENT AND NEXT BEST FRIEND OF N.R., A MINOR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAY BLAIR, JERRY MEYER, MIDWEST CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, AND MIDWEST CENTRAL UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT #191, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael M. Mihm United States District Judge

E-FILED

Wednesday, 22 December, 2010 10:21:12 AM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

ORDER

This matter was before the Court on Tuesday, December 21, 2010, for a hearing on Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order. This Order supplements the oral rulings made at the conclusion of that hearing, during which the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order was denied.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff's son is a senior student at Midwest Central High School. She contends that her son suffers from a disability, namely Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ("ADHD"), as diagnosed by Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor Karla White ("White") on November 21, 2010, and for which he has been prescribed medication by Dr. William Fisher ("Fisher"). On December 20, 2010, Plaintiff filed a TRO seeking an order restraining Defendants from discriminating against her son on the basis of his disability by continuing to hold him ineligible to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities pursuant to District policy. Specifically, Plaintiff requests that Defendants apply an IHSA Rule in lieu of the District's Academic Requirements in order to permit her son to participate in extracurricular activities, including the holiday tournaments in men's basketball, prior to his eligibility date of January 4, 2011.

During the spring 2010 semester, Plaintiff's son received a failing grade in geometry. Pursuant to the District's Academic Requirements, this made him ineligible to participate in athletics for the first nine weeks of the fall 2010 semester. At the end of the first nine weeks of the fall 2010 semester, Plaintiff's son was failing Drama. This then made him ineligible to participate in athletics for the remainder of the semester pursuant to Academic Guideline 1.F. Plaintiff asserts that her son successfully raised his grade in that geometry class to a passing grade through a summer school course.

Plaintiff alleges that her son became ineligible to participate in athletics as a result of attempting to meet his academic requirements without appropriate medical treatment or accommodations for his condition. Since being diagnosed and receiving medical treatment, his ability to function academically has "markedly improved," and he is currently passing all of his courses for the semester.

Although Plaintiff states that she is not asking the school to refrain from applying eligibility standards to her son, that is essentially what she is doing in asking the School District to forego its own Academic Regulations and apply the non-mandatory provisions of IHSA Rule 3.022, which would permit but not require the consideration of her son's summer school grade in determining his scholastic standing for the previous semester.*fn1

If this were done, Plaintiff's son would arguably not have been ineligible for the first nine weeks of the fall 2010 semester, and his failing grade in Drama would have made him ineligible on a week-to-week basis rather than for the remainder of the semester, allowing him to play in the upcoming holiday basketball tournaments.

Plaintiff requested this relief from the School Board and District Administration. Her requests were denied, leading to the filing of the present litigation.

DISCUSSION

A temporary restraining order ("TRO") is an emergency remedy issued to maintain the status quo until a hearing can be held on an application for a preliminary injunction. Coca-Cola Co. v. Alma-Leo U.S.A., Inc., 719 F.Supp. 725, 726 (N.D.Ill. 1989). The purpose of a TRO, similar to that of a preliminary injunction, is to minimize the hardship to the parties pending the ultimate resolution of the suit. Faheem-El v. Klincar, 841 F.2d 712, 717 (7th Cir. 1988). The standards for a TRO and a preliminary injunction are ...


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