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Kids With Learning Disabilities Kicked Off Youth Football Team
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Youth sports are supposed to be fun. They really should be nothing more than an opportunity for children of all ages to participate in games and for parents to watch their kids run around and have a good time. However, that’s not always the case and there’s a pretty disturbing issue going on in New Haven, Connecticut.

For the past five years, fourth-grader Amadi Towe enjoyed playing for the Pop Warner New Havens Steelers League. It’s been a big part of his life in the fall. The fact he has a learning disability hasn’t changed that, but now he can no longer play youth football because of it.

Young Amadi was kicked off his team once his mother, Nijija-ife Waters, turned in his Individualized Education Program (IEP) report card, according to Fox 61 in Hartford. She was told it was a “scholastic issue” for why her son couldn’t play when she reached out to the Southern Connecticut Pop Warner League, and now she’s left with more questions than answers.

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As it turned out, Amadi Towe wasn’t the only one. According to Fox 61, Slyvia Roman said her eight-year-old son, Kevin Blackman, was also cut from his Pop Warner football team after turning in his IEP report card.

A meeting with football league president Reggie Lytle and the Southern Connecticut Pop Warner executive board was supposed to take place this week, but it was canceled.

“They refused to meet with me, I got a text canceling the meeting, I wanted to explain what an IEP is and some of the laws, but I never had the opportunity,” Reggie Lytle told Fox 61.

This is really pretty sad. Both parents paid for their kids to play football, but because they are young people with disabilities, they can’t participate.

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Hopefully this issue gets resolved soon.

READ MORE: High School Team Cancels Season, Fires All Coaches After Embarrassing Scandal

Author placeholder image About the author:
With over 10 years of sports writing experience, Brett has covered some of the top local, regional, and national sporting events in the Heartland for both print and digital platforms. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and resides in Austin, Texas.
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