KENILWORTH —A judge has ordered a Catholic school to allow a 12-year-old it expelled to return to school.

The girl and her sister were kicked out this week because her parents had sued over her not being allowed to play on the boys' basketball team after the girls team disbanded because of a lack of participation by students.

CBS New York reported that an appeals court ruled that Sydney Phillips and her younger sister must be allowed to attend classes at St. Theresa's School in Kenilworth pending a court hearing.

The girl, whose parents lost a court battle to get her onto the boys team, received word of the expulsion on Wednesday as she practiced with the New York Liberty at their training facility at Madison Square Garden.

Newark Archdiocese spokesman James Goodness said in a statement, "We are aware of a stay of the expulsion. We will not comment on the status of the legal proceedings."

In an earlier statement Goodness said that Phillips and her younger sister were expelled because of a clause in the school's Parent and Student Handbook.

“Parents and guardians of every student at St. Theresa School receive a Parent and Student Handbook at the beginning of each school year. The Handbook specifically states ‘If a parent implicates St. Theresa School in a legal matter, or names St. Theresa School as a defendant in a civil matter, the parent/guardian will be requested to remove their children immediately from the school.’ Mr. Phillips agreed in writing to the terms of the Handbook on August 30, 2016.”

Her attorney has yet to return a call to New Jersey 101.5.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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