Taylor family settles lawsuit with Auburn City Schools

By Kristin Gold  - bio | email | Twitter

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Auburn Assistant Coach Trooper Taylor and his family have settled their lawsuit with the Auburn City School District.  A joint statement released read:

"The Auburn City Schools Board of Education and the Taylor family are pleased that the lawsuit between the parties has been dismissed. The Board and the Taylors will continue to discuss ways to improve participation and the overall experience for students participating in all sports at Auburn High School, including a review of all policies and rules for team membership. Presently, a uniform policy across all sports for grooming of athletes is being developed such that, upon approval by the Board, all sports will operate under one policy. The Board also looks forward to Blaise Taylor's future participation in athletics at AHS."

The Taylors filed a lawsuit against the district on December 10 after Taylor's 99th grade son Blaise was cut from the Auburn High School JV Basketball team due to his refusal to remove his cornrows.  The hairstyle was not permitted by JV Coach Frank Tolbert.  The Taylor's federal lawsuit claimed that Tolbert's grooming rule was racist since it singled out a hairstyle almost exclusively worn by black players. The Taylor family cited that there is no rule against wearing braids in the school's handbook.

For the past two weeks the Auburn City School District has stood by Coach Tolbert.  "We support Coach Tolbert and the other coaches, band instructors and leaders of all of our extracurricular activities and believe that each must be given the necessary discretion to conduct their programs as they reasonably see fit," School District Attorney Rick Davidson said in a statement last week.

The suit was expected to go to court in Montgomery on Tuesday December 21.

©2010 WTVM. All rights reserved.