Beattie-Line Mountain suit: Parties await judge's signing of consent decree
WILLIAMSPORT - The attorneys for the couple that sued the Line Mountain School District and won on behalf of their seventh-grade daughter who wrestles are keeping quiet until the federal judge signs a consent order approved by the school board meeting Tuesday.
In a one-page letter filed in the Middle District of Pennsylvania Wednesday afternoon to U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann, attorney Abbe F. Fletman, of Flaster/Greenberg PC, informed the courts of the district's decision to concede and change their policy.
"We are pleased to report that the parties have agreed to a proposed consent decree that we would like to present to the court for consideration," Fletman wrote in the letter, which has the district's four-page proposal attached.
Fletman said the issue would be raised at the 1:30 p.m. case Wednesday management conference between court personnel and legal representation from the two parties via telephone at 1:30 p.m.
Seventh-grade student Audriana Beattie and female athletes like her were granted permission by unanimous board consent to wrestle on the district's all-male wrestling team after months of legal battles between the school board and her parents, Brian and Angie Beattie.
While the Beattie family was victorious, the legal battle is not over because the district will be fighting $140,682 worth of attorney fees the Beatties want the district to pay.
The district is asking the judge to make a determination, and they will "pay reasonable attorneys' fees and costs" to the Beatties in an amount to be determined by the court or upon mutual agreement between the parties.
Audriana had wrestled for Line Mountain's elementary program, but last school year her parents were told of the district's gender-specific policy that would prevent her from competing on the junior and senior high levels.
A federal judge granted both a temporary order on Nov. 1 and the preliminary injunction on Jan. 13. The orders allowed Audriana to continue wrestling with the district program until the case was resolved.