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JUNCTION, VT – The Mid Vermont Christian School has been banned from competing in future sports tournaments after their team purposely forfeited a game in the girl’s state basketball playoffs in February due to the fact that the opposing team had a male-to-female transgender student on their roster.
The Principals’ Association (VPA) ruled on Monday that Mid Vermont violated the organization’s policies on race, gender and disability awareness – as well as state law – and as a result the school’s teams are no longer allowed to participate in future VPA-sanctioned tournaments in any sport whatsoever.
“The VPA again reiterates its ongoing support of transgender student-athletes as not only a part of building an inclusive community for each student to grow and thrive, but also as a clear expectation by Vermont state law(s) in the Agency of Education Best Practices, and in VPA Policy regarding transgender student athletes,” the VPA said.
In February, the girl’s basketball team of Mid Vermont Christian School refused to participate in a tournament game against Long Trail Mountain, with the stated reason – as per Head of School Vicky Fogg – being that a transgender athlete being on the competing team gave them an unfair advantage, as well as providing a safety risk for the biological females competing against him.
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“We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players,” Fogg said. “Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”
However, the Vermont Agency of Education’s (VAE) best practices law disallows student athletes to be discriminated against based on their gender identity; any instance where this law is disputed must be arbitrated individually, according to the state.
“Transgender and gender nonconforming students are to be provided the same opportunities to participate in physical education as are all other students,” the VAE says. “Generally, students should be permitted to participate in physical education and sports in accordance with the student’s gender identity. Participation in competitive athletic activities and sports will be resolved on a case-by-case basis.”
The VAE also allows transgender students to use the bathroom and locker room that corresponds with their chosen gender identity.
It is currently unknown how the Mid Vermont Christian School has reacted to their sports fan, or if they have plans to appeal the decision.
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