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Lancaster Schools to hold special meeting to discuss ban on 12-year-old girl who wants to wrestle

Posted at 3:29 PM, Nov 22, 2019

LANCASTER, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Lancaster Central Schools Board of Education has called a special meeting tomorrow morning to discuss a decision banning a 12-year-old girl from wrestling for the JV team.

The decision comes just hours after 7 Eyewitness News published and broadcast a story on Trista Blasz, a seventh grader at Aurora Middle School. Blasz was not cleared to wrestle by the district's doctor, Michael Terranova, despite passing two physical tests mandated by New York State. She was also not cleared to wrestle in a modified weight class.

On a form from the district denying her request is a hand-written note next to the signature of Dr. Terranova, which reads "Girls don't play boys sports in Lancaster schools."

"I just can't wrestle basically because I'm a girl," Trista said.

"[it] isn't fair, just because she's a girl," said Trista's mother Danielle. "And this is the only explanation I can come up with. If she was a boy she'd be on the team already."

Dr. Terranova made the same statement to Trista's aunt when she tried to be on the Lancaster Boy's Wrestling Team.

"The same doctor, Dr. Terranova, and he gave me the same excuse which was girls don't wrestle on boys teams," said Cristta Hartinger, "We're just back in the situation and I never thought they would come back here to be honest."

In a statement to 7 Eyewitness News, Lancaster Central School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Vallely said he disagreed with the decision, but state rules prevent him from overriding the review committee, which was made up of Dr. Terranova, a physical education teacher and Blasz's personal physician. Only's Blasz's doctor cleared her to wrestle.

"I am exploring options to have that decision revisited," Vallely said.

Dr. Terranova did not return calls to 7 Eyewitness News for comment.

Saturday's school board meeting will take place Saturday at 8 a.m. in the Lancaster High School Auditorium. It is open to the public.