ALL HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS TEAMS
IN THE CROSS HAIRS!
Next Wednesday and Thursday, October 1st and 2nd, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) will consider adopting a policy for transgendered students to participate in high school athletics according to their gender choice, rather than by the gender listed on their birth certificates.
This policy will apply to all Minnesota
public and nonpublic schools. including religious!
Find the Board member who represents your area by clicking here (starting on page 13) and call or email him/her now! You may attend one or both of two MSHSL meetings to discuss this proposed policy:
Wednesday, October 1
MSHSL Office – Board Room
Starting at 3:00pm
2100 Freeway Boulevard
The Workshop is for discussion only
and no action will be taken.
Board of Directors Meeting
Thursday, October 2
MSHSL Office – Board Room
Starting at 9:30am
Important: If you are willing to speak to this issue, you must email
Executive Director Mr. David Stead firstname.lastname@example.org
Please read the report below that
was prepared by a local attorney:
The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) intends to adopt a transgender policy that will affect every MN high school that participates in the MSHSL, including religious schools. Some situations that could result from this policy may be alarming. For example, a 7th gr. girl on the JV volleyball team in the girls locker room could shower next to a person she doesn’t have the right to know is a genetic male (unless she happens to see his unchanged male anatomy).
The draft policy says that if students identify as the opposite gender, they may play on the sports teams of the gender with which they identify. The MSHSL says “fundamental fairness” “requires schools to provide a transgender student with equal opportunities to participate in athletics” and suggests that restricting transgender athletes’ participation to the sports teams of their biological gender is “discrimination.” OutFront MN, our state’s largest and most funded LGBT group, is working closely with the MSHSL to draft and pass this policy.
The previous version of MSHSL’s proposed policy required that kids who identified with the opposite gender at least start hormone therapy (testosterone suppression for boys, testosterone for girls) before being allowed to join the opposite sex’s sports teams. The latest version has no objective criteria whatsoever with which a student must comply before a school or the MSHSL allows them to join the opposite sex’s sports teams (except the student’s or parent’s affirmation that the child identifies with the opposite gender). The policy also has no safety provisions to safeguard against sexual assaults, e.g. transgender boys identifying as girls violating girls in girls’ facilities, and boys violating transgender girls identifying as boys in boys’ facilities.
The policy charges each school’s administrator or athletic/activity director with determining a student’s “gender,” and students denied their “preferred gender” on the school level have four levels of appeal they can avail themselves of to gain acceptance onto their preferred sports team (two levels of appeal are to the MSHSL, the group pushing this policy). The policy gives schools no right of appeal to counter a gender assignment with which they disagree.
The previous version of the policy specifically allowed transgender students to use the toilets, showers and changing facilities and share hotel rooms with the gender with which they identify. Even if separate facilities or stalls are available, that version specifically stated transgender students need not use them. The current version requires all schools to make the necessary accommodations for transgender students to have “reasonable and appropriate” access to restrooms and locker rooms. This is a vague standard, but we gain insight into its interpretation by looking at the previous directives to allow transgender students unrestricted use of all facilities of their preferred gender.
The current version also requires that all teachers, counselors, coaches, staff, parents, students “and others” undergo transgender sensitivity training, which every school must provide and pay for. It also requires that schools only refer to the transgender student in accord with their preferred gender.
There are no exemptions for religious schools under this policy, nor are there any accommodations made for those who believe that gender is a biological and genetic reality, not a social choice.
Further, this policy protects the privacy only of the transgender student. In other words non-transgender students have no right to know that the person with whom they are playing sports, or may be showering or using the bathroom next to, or sharing a hotel bed with, is of the opposite genetic sex, even though there is no requirement that the student’s biological anatomy be modified. This raises both substantial privacy and safety concerns.
This policy is of concern for several reasons:
- Male athletes can compete on girls’ teams, even though post pubescent boys are statistically taller, have larger hands, feet, pelvises, and have 1.5 times the skeletal mass as girls…none of which is reduced by hormone therapy. Boys competing on girls’ teams will take the spots of otherwise eligible girls and unfairly compete for sports scholarship money reserved for girls. *MN law affirms the separation of the sexes in sports to avoid this very problem
- Girls will be at greater risk of injury on the court/field when competing against biological boys.
- Girls’ and boys’ privacy will be violated if they disrobe or shower with, or use the toilet next to, or share a hotel bed with a transgender person with no right to know the person is the opposite sex. The MSHSL protects the transgender person’s privacy at the high cost of violating the privacy of every non-transgender person.
- Students will be put at risk of sexual assault.
- Religious schools could be barred from participation in the MSHSL for non-compliance with the policy, which could negatively impact the competitive level of their sports programs and, as a result, their enrollment.
- This policy is MN’s version of CA’s bathroom bill, where K-12 students can self-identify gender. In a CO school with a “transgender accommodations policy,” girls were threatened by school administrators that if they and their parents didn’t stop complaining about boys (self-identifying as girls) using their bathroom, the girls would be punished and ineligible for sports and potentially other school activities, even though the boys were verbally harassing the girls by making comments about their bodies while in the bathroom. This could cost some girls their college scholarships and even professional sports careers.
- There is no state or federal law requiring the MSHSL to adopt a policy of this nature. To the contrary, the law and courts specifically ordain the use of separate locker rooms, bathrooms and sports teams based on gender. This is an agenda driven policy.
- If adopted, this policy will expose not only the MSHSL but also every participating school to mass amounts of litigation from non-transgender students and parents.
- Write an email to the MSHSL. Your e-mail need not be exhaustive or eloquent, anything you write to oppose this policy will be better than nothing (avoid just pasting the above into your e-mail…use your own language to be most effective).
- Send your email to:
* MSHSL Board President, Scott McCready: email@example.com.
mn.us AND* Find your MSHSL Rep. by looking up all the Board Members HERE, or look for your school’s Administrative Region HERE starting on page 13 ( you can always e-mail the MSHSL Board members in charge of certain Boys or Girls sports).* If you want to easily comment to the entire MHSL Board, highlight all the e-mail addresses listed at the end of this email, copy (Ctrl C) and paste (Ctrl V) into your e-mail ad.* NOTE: There are concerns that feedback opposing this policy has not been distributed to the full Board so try to copy several Board members, listed again HERE, or just send to the entire board (e-mails below).
- Attend the MSHSL “workshop” on October 1st at 3pm at 2100 Freeway Blvd, Brooklyn Center, intended to give the public each 3 minutes to oppose or support the policy. *We need your support. Proponents of policies like this typically show up in large numbers (with buttons, signs and matching t-shirts).
Thank you for your attention to this matter!
MSHSL Board E-mails: