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Ooltewah cheerleaders' lawsuit dismissed

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OOLTEWAH, HAMILTON COUNTY (Times Free Press) - Three girls kicked off Ooltewah High School's cheerleading squad last fall for underage drinking were not deprived of their constitutional rights or victims of sex discrimination, a federal court judge ruled Monday.

In a 25-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Harry S. Mattice dismissed a lawsuit filed by the girls' parents against the Hamilton County Department of Education, Ooltewah Principal Mark Bean and cheerleading coach Kelly Peterson in December.

Parents JoDee Crumley, Tommy and Jennifer Smith, and Valerie and Todd Jones -- who were represented by attorney Curtis Bowe -- accused the school of trying to interfere with the girls' private lives, of an unlawful discipline process and for punishing the girls for misdeeds male athletes in the system had never been punished for.

The attorneys involved in the case did not return calls for comment Monday evening, and attempts to reach the former cheerleaders' parents were unsuccessful.

Read more on this story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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