Athlete with Down syndrome gets civil rights award

ISHPEMING, Mich. (AP) — The family of a student with Down syndrome who earned the right to participate in athletics during his senior year has received a Michigan civil rights award.

The Dompierre family and the Ishpeming Public Schools received the Civil Rights Leadership Award from the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. The Mining Journal of Marquette and WLUC-TV report department representatives presented the award Friday.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s executive committee last year approved a waiver for Eric Dompierre. The decision followed a vote by state schools to lift the age limit for sports eligibility under certain circumstances.

The push was accelerated after Dompierre petitioned to be able to play sports at Ishpeming High School in the Upper Peninsula. Dompierre started school late because of the genetic disorder. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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