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Edgewood High School suing City of Madison in federal court

MADISON, Wis. - Edgewood High School sued the City of Madison in federal court alleging religious discrimination Wednesday, according to a statement from the office of Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. 

The statement said Rhodes-Conway has withdrawn her sponsorship of an ordinance repealing Edgewood's Master Plan. 

"The City of Madison does not discriminate against any religion," Rhodes-Conway said in the statement. "Edgewood High School is free to pursue the repeal of its Master Plan utilizing normal city processes. I encourage Edgewood High School to work with its neighbors to resolve ongoing tensions over the proposal to have a limited number of night games." 

Edgewood's court battle stems from a zoning board decision saying the school could not host games on its field. The school's master plan says it would only use the field for practices and classes. 

In the court complaint, Edgewood says, "The City and its officials have now imposed the City's land use regulations in an arbitrary, unequal, and unlawful manner to prohibit Edgewood and its students from using the field for anything other than team practices and physical education classes." 

Edgewood continues: "All of the City [of Madison's] public high schools and the University of Wisconsin-Madison share the same zoning classification as Edgewood, yet the City is imposing these restrictions on Edgewood alone."   

Despite dropping current plans for an amendment, the school has violated the master plan a few times by holding home games there. When it appealed those violations in July to the zoning board of appeals, the board voted to uphold the violations, insuring that if Edgewood wants to play games at its field, it must somehow change the master plan. 

Last month, Edgewood's president Mike Elliott said he was disappointed in the board's decision, but he and others at the school would keep fighting to give the students the right to play games on their field.

"We feel Edgewood has every right to hold events on our field, just like every other high school and just like the University of Wisconsin does," Elliott said.

Edgewood is a private Catholic high school established in 1881. 

This is a developing story. Stay tuned to News 3 Now and Channel3000.com for updates. 

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