Girls' sports might be coming to an end (think: apocalypse), according to a full-page ad in the Star Tribune. And that's not all. The very concerned, very conservative Child Protection League Action group who placed the ad went on to holler:
Her dreams of a scholarship shattered, your 14-year-old daughter just lost her position on an all-girl team to a male [that's in red too]... and now she may have to shower with him.
Are you willing to let that happen?
The MN State High School League is considering a transgender athletic policy forcing almost 500 MN schools, including private and religious, to allow transgender students to choose their gender team, locker room, showers, bathroom facilities and hotel accommodations. Student bodily privacy, safety, dignity, and the future of athletics is at stake.
This is the second time the Minnesota State High School League has broached the topic of transgender athletes. Back in September, the MSHSL—a voluntary, nonprofit association of school representatives who help govern and administer sports and fine arts—drafted a policy outlining the conditions under which a transgender student could participate in sports. They did so to remain in compliance with the U.S. Department of Education's new Title IX requirements, that extend the law to include all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The policy draft stated that 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. It went on to say school districts should provide private shower and changing facilities, when possible, to any student who requested them. And it barred school districts from identifying transgender athletes.
CPLAction placed its first full-page ad prior to the MSHSL public meeting with the scandalous headline: "A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are YOU ok with that?" The MSHSL was besieged with emails from people who were not OK with that. About 100 vocal opponents also showed up at the meeting. Though the amendment had been expected to pass, it was tabled for further study. The second go at letting "males" shower with 14-year-old girls is coming up Dec. 4.
Further study resulted in this redraft:
Gender Identity Participation in MSHSL Activities
The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) allows participation for all students regardless of their gender-related identity or expression. This policy is designed to guide member school personnel as they create an environment free from discrimination and provide an equal opportunity for participation in athletics in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, rules and regulations.
To assist member schools with eligibility determinations, the following definitions shall apply.
- Transgender Person: a person whose gender-related identity is different from and does not match the gender assigned at birth.
- Gender Identity: a person's deeply felt internal sense of being male or female.
- Gender Expression: a person's external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either masculine or feminine (ie. dress, speech, mannerisms, social interactions, etc.)
Consistent with Minnesota State High School League Bylaws 301,305, 306, and 408 the student's member school is the first point of contact for determining the student's eligibility to participate in MSHSL sanctioned activities.
When the administration of a member school is notified, in writing, by a student and the student's parent(s)/legal guardian(s) that the student has a consistent and uniform gender- related identity or that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of the student's core identity and the gender-related identity is different from the student's gender-related identity described on the student's school registration records or birth certificate, and that the student wishes to participate in athletics in a manner consistent with the student's current gender-related identity, the student's school must review the following information prior to determining the appropriate gender team on which the student will participate.
- The student's current transcript, school registration, and any additional relevant information.
- The written statement from the student and the student's parent(s)/legal guardian(s) affirming the consistent and uniform gender-related identity and expression to which the student self-relates.
- Statements from individuals such as, but not limited to parents, friends, and/or teachers, which affirm that the actions, attitudes, dress and manner demonstrate the student's consistent or sincerely held gender-related identification and expression.
A written statement from an appropriate health-care professional, acting within the scope of his/her licensure that verifies the existence of the student's consistent and uniform gender-related identity or sincerely held gender-related identity.
When there is confirmation of a student's consistent and uniform gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of the person's core identity, the student will be eligible to participate in MSHSL activities consistent with the student's gender-related identification for the balance of the student's high school eligibility.
All communications among involved parties and required supporting documentation and records shall, to the extent permitted by law, be kept confidential unless the student and the student's parent(s)/legal guardian(s) make a specific request otherwise.
If a member school denies participation and the student, the student's parent(s)/legal guardian(s) wish to appeal the decision of the member school, the Executive Director of the MSHSL, or the Director's designee, will become involved in the eligibility determination as identified in the MSHSL Fair Hearing Procedure as amended.
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.
Nonpublic schools are exempt from mandatory compliance consistent with Minn. Stat. 363A.24, 363A.26 and as required by federal law.
This policy shall be construed and interpreted in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, rules and regulations.
The policy shall be effective on _____________________________ (date)
DRAFT November 20, 2014
Essentially, a transgender student needs to provide written proof from parents, friends, teachers and health professionals of their "sincerely held, uniform and consistent gender identity" to play on a team that's not the gender listed on the birth certificate. If the student's school denies access, he/she can appeal through MSHSL. This draft also exempts nonpublic schools.
That's a lot of work just to be able to shower with 14-year-old girls. My experience, as a mother and high school coach, is that 14-year-old girls don't shower with other 14-year-old girls anyway. They go home and take a shower. So, heads up, predatory 14-year-old transgender athletes—all that gender changing could be for nothing.
Also, it challenges the imagination to envision large numbers of 14-year-old boys who identify as girls, who are simultaneously dealing with algebra, acne, Friday night and more than the usual body angst, wrestling scholarships (by the way, no 14-year-old has a scholarship in hand) away from girls, shattering dreams, and ending girls' sports.
The CPLAction's brand of holy cow-crazy fearmongering, though, relies on a vivid imagination. And not much else.