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Mat-Su School Board policy aims to bar transgender girls from female sports

Mat-Su School Board policy aims to bar non biological females from female sports
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 10:32 PM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - A proposal in the Mat-Su Borough School District is targeting transgender girls who are student-athletes, seeking to ban transgender girls from school-sponsored girls’ extracurricular and co-curricular activities.

Board Policy 6145 was introduced at a school board meeting Wednesday after it was proposed by the board policy committee and states that there are significant biological and physiological differences between males and females including strength, speed, and endurance capabilities giving males a competitive advantage.

If passed, each school within the district whose students or teams compete against other schools must designate each school-sponsored athletic team or sport as either male, female or coeducational.

“The proposed amendment of BP6145 extracurricular and co-curricular activities champions women and girls by ensuring an even playing field in athletics,” School Board President Ryan Ponder said.

Most members of the school board spoke in favor of the proposed board policy, but school board clerk Dwight Probasco wanted to hear from the legal adviser for the district attorney before making any decisions.

“My question, you know does this amendment conflict with our board policy 0410 about non-discrimination in district programs and activities,” Probasco said.

Members of the school board echoed words from Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, who sponsored SB 140 “An Act relating to school athletics, recreation, athletic teams, and sports” which similarly would have banned trans women from competing in women’s sports. The bill was not passed, but Mat-Su board members said they wanted to enact a similar board policy anyway.

“We need to challenge the state to come to a decision,” board member Jim Hart said. “At the very least if they won’t come to a decision, we need to.”

Just two members of the public testified to the board about this revision with one in favor and the other in opposition.

“If this ban passes, it tells trans youth, athletes and non-athletes, out or closeted, that the adult leaders in this community are not safe and can not be trusted,” Robin Moffet said.

In this new revision, any student in the district who wants to be on a designated girls’ team or sport, their biological sex must be listed as female at or near the time of the participant’s birth on their birth certificate.

Wednesday night was the first reading of the revision and no decision has been made yet. The board policy will appear again at the next school board meeting on June 15.

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