VIRGINIA BEACH -- A senior from First Colonial High School who was sidelined because of a Virginia High School League rule is back on the school's cheerleading squad and gymnastics team.
When the Navy stationed Brianna Mikeska's father in Japan during her junior year, she moved there with her parents. For several reasons, including the opportunity to graduate with an Advanced Studies Diploma, Mikeska returned to Virginia Beach for her senior year. Her mother and father remained in Japan.
VHSL's 'transfer rule' prevents students moving without their parents from participating in extracurricular activities. It's meant to prevent people from shopping teams.
The VHSL denied Mikeska's appeal, citing that she did not go through an 'undue hardship' as a reason for her leaving.
The new ruling, which took into account an attorney general's opinion from 2001 involving cases with military families, allows Mikeska to participate in extracurricular activities.
'This happening can set a precedent that will change, like, what happens to people forever,' Mikeska told 13News. 'You should always fight for what you believe in, because you never know if you don't try, and it's always worth the fight, because it might go in your favor like it did with me, and, then, it might make a difference in something bigger than just yourself.'
Landstown Middle School teacher Christy McAnally, who moderates a club for military children, assisted Mikeska throughout the process.
'We're gonna work with Delegate Stolle, and, hopefully, work on a bill that will help other children and other military families from having to go through the same situation,' McAnally explained.