Christian Heritage Acad. v. Okla. Secondary Sch. Activities Ass'n

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In Christian Heritage Acad. v. Okla. Secondary Sch. Activities Ass'n, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 8186 (10th Cir. Apr. 9, 2007), the Tenth Circuit upheld a challenge under the Equal Protection Clause against the Oklahoma high school sports association because it allowed public schools to join automatically but required a majority vote in order to admit private schools. The Tenth Circuit held, without dissent, that the high school sports association was a state actor subject to the Fourteenth Amendment.

Specifically, the Tenth Circuit ruled that this distinction between public and private schools was not rationally related to the legitimate purposes of (1) preserving equitable competitive opportunities, (2) preventing exploitation of student-athletes, and (3) preserving a balance between academics and athletics. Rather, the decision by the association was unguided and entirely discretionary, and thus violative of the Equal Protection Clause.

This decision could be helpful to students who engage in homeschooling but are excluded from participation in public school activities, as by the NJSIAA.