MSHSL Board approves transgender policy

MSHSL Board approves transgender policy

The Minnesota State High School League voted to approve a policy regarding transgender student athletes on high school sports teams Thursday. The policy will take effect for the 2015-2016 school year.

The board heard from a jam-packed room of parents and community members on the topic, many hoisting signs pushing their opinions.

The latest draft of the now-approved policy is posted on the Minnesota State High School League website, listing the proposed guidelines for member schools. The draft allows transgender students to participate in activities in line with their gender identity after turning in a confidential written request to their school. Any appeals would be handled by the league, and private schools would be exempt under state and federal law.

A 10th grade volleyball player echoed that sentiment, stating boys are bigger and stronger than girls and it wouldn’t be fair for them to take scholarship opportunities away.

The policy also addresses locker rooms, reading, “Every student athlete and fine arts participant should have access to a locker room, bathroom and shower facility in a safe, comfortable and convenient environment. Such arrangements must be fully considered by member schools to ensure such access and privacy.

A sixth grade transgender boy told the board Thursday that this kind of policy would be “life changing.” He said it’s simply about equality. On the other side of the issue, the Minnesota Family Council submitted a petition with more than 5,000 signatures opposing the policy.

All trans students are asking for is to be treated as human beings and we stand with them.

Posted by Rebecca L. Charles 1/23/15