NEW ORLEANS – Calling the practice unconstitutional and discriminatory, the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana is calling on the Louisiana High School Athletics Association (LHSAA) to stop requiring students to provide a Social Security number as a prerequisite for participating in athletics.
“Children in Louisiana have a right to public education – regardless of their immigration status,” said Alanah Odoms Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana executive director. “Requiring student athletes to provide their Social Security numbers is a discriminatory practice that may prevent undocumented children from participating. This show-me-your-papers policy is a cruel and unconstitutional approach to what should be a fun, inclusive and enriching activity – and a betrayal of what high school sports should be all about. We’re demanding the LHSAA end this unconstitutional and discriminatory practice immediately.”
In a letter to the LHSAA, the ACLU of Louisiana noted that Louisiana law prohibits any school system employee from collecting a student’s Social Security number unless it is voluntarily disclosed by the student’s parent or legal guardian.
In Plyler v. Doe, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states violate the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution when they deny undocumented children the same educational opportunities that are provided to United States citizens.