Student from Zambia sues to compete in 'Poetry Out Loud'

WESTBROOK, Maine (AP) — A Maine high school student who fled his native country of Zambia last year is suing the National Endowment for the Arts because it will not let him compete in the national "Poetry Out Loud" contest.

Westbrook resident 17-year-old Allan Monga, a junior at Deering High School, won Maine's contest but says he's not being allowed to compete nationally because he hasn't yet been granted legal asylum. Monga has received a work authorization card and a Social Security card but not a green card.

The Bangor Daily News reports he and the Portland school district filed the complaint Wednesday.

Monga and the district are seeking an injunction to force the NEA to let him participate in the national competition, April 23-25 in Washington.

An attorney representing the NEA declined to comment Thursday.