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Girl’s family sues school after refusing to let her play on boys’ team, both sisters expelled

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SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. - A girl, along with her sister, who sued St. Theresa's Catholic School after their officials would not let her play on the boys team, were expelled from the school.

Sydney Phillips, 13, had asked the administration if she could play on the boys' team because there were not enough girls to form a girls' team.

Earlier this week, the 13-year-old was invited to play basketball with the WNBA's New York Liberty.

While she and her family were there, that's when the father received an e-mail saying both of his daughters had been expelled.

"What kind of Catholic values is this? What about compassion?” said Scott Phillips, their father.

The family told WPIX they have now filed an emergency appeal in hopes of getting the girls back in school as soon as possible.

“It's not like I kicked a teacher. It’s not like I cursed at the principal. All I did was say I want to play basketball and all of the sudden I’m expelled,” said Sydney.

On Thursday, Phillips tried to take his daughters to school despite the e-mail, but were met with police and the deacon at the door.

They told the family they were now trespassing.

“These girls, it’s the only school they ever been. It’s the only school they ever known. Their friends are all there. And they didn’t do anything wrong. They’re honor roll students,” he said.

The Archdiocese released a statement saying all parents at St. Theresa School are required to agree in writing to a handbook.

An excerpt of that handbook reads:

“If a parent implicates St. Theresa School in a legal matter... the parent/guardian will be requested to remove their children immediately from the school.”

The father said he denies this request.

"I find it disgraceful that they’re bullying these two children."