A conservative group, protesting a proposal that transgender students in Minnesota be allowed to play high school sports, went the full shower route in a full-page ad in the Sunday Star Tribune.
The Child Protection League’s ad blares, “A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are YOU OK with that?” on the back page of the newspaper’s sports section.
The Minnesota State High School League is expected to approve the proposal at a workshop on on Wednesday, and enact it at its board of directors meeting on Thursday.
Under the draft policy, a female-to-male transgender student who has started hormone treatment can only play on male teams. One who hasn’t can play on either team. A male-to-female student must provide evidence of testosterone suppression therapy.
The shower policy requires school districts (when possible) to provide private shower and changing facilities to any student athlete who requests them.
It also bars school districts from revealing that a student athlete is a transgender person.
The Minnesota Catholic Conference has also mobilized against the policy.
Of most serious concern, the Policy:
Relies upon a contested view of gender identity confusion that could do students struggling with their gender more harm than good;
Fails to give any direction to schools about protecting the privacy rights of students concerned about the policy change, thus giving higher importance to the privacy and identity of some students over others;
Does not make accommodations for students and schools based on religious or conscientious objections, which are required by Minnesota law;
Places unfunded mandates on schools, such as the need to create “necessary accommodations” in its facilities and requirements for employees and students to use alternative gender pronouns and undergo transgender “sensitivity training”;
Creates legal liability challenges for member schools, both through compliance and non-compliance; and,
Could alter the competitive fairness in girls’ athletics.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education released its updated Title IX requirements, clarifying that the civil rights law extends to all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“This guidance is crystal clear and leaves no room for uncertainty on the part of schools regarding their legal obligation to protect transgender students from discrimination,” Ian Thompson, ACLU legislative representative, said in a statement after the April declaration.