WASHINGTON (WJZ) — A DC teen Jamal Speaks was just about to hit the field for the Southeast Cup on Saturday, but before he could he was pulled out of the game by the principal for Ballou Stay High School because he was ineligible.
Why? Because 18-year-old Speaks is homeless, according to WUSA9.
The football game, attended by recruiters from Temple University, is the second time that Speaks was denied the chance to play football for his high school over “lingering residency concerns.”
Back in August, D.C. public schools denied Speaks’ right to play football. After an appeal from Speaks and his godmother to the State Athletic Association, and his paperwork was verified, the student was deemed clear to play.
The principal wasn’t directed to pull Speaks from the game, according to a D.C. public schools spokesperson. Rather, the principal was “advised of residency concerns.”
“Someone is discriminating against him.” Nia Young, a concerned community member, told WUSA9. “It can’t be residency because he’s been enrolled since last school year.”
A spokesperson didn’t give an answer to the concern, stating that “it is unclear if there is an active investigation.”
Trayvon White, a Ward 8 Council-member, is offering to help the Speaks find permanent housing.
“This young man has been through enough.” White said to WUSA9. “we need to make sure he graduates, and assist him in securing a college scholarship.”
After confirming that Speaks has indeed proven his residency, White is also appealing to a school system already bogged down by controversy regarding residency issues.
An earlier report revealed that Maryland students were attending Duke Ellington School of the Arts without paying tuition, at the cost of D.C. taxpayers.