A Vermont high school girls’ basketball team that withdrew from a tournament in February after refusing to play against a team that had a transgender player is no longer able to participate in future Vermont Principals’ Association activities and tournaments, the group said in a news release March 13.
VPA, the state’s governing body for school sports, sent a letter to the Mid Vermont Christian School on March 13 saying the school’s forfeiture, and stated rationale for forfeiting, did “not meet the expectations” of the organization’s policies after MVCS forfeited the February 21 game.
“Thus, Mid Vermont Christian school is ineligible to participate in VPA activities going forward,” the letter said.
In a March 14 statement, MVCS said it plans to appeal the decision.
“Mid Vermont Christian school is disappointed with the decision of the VPA Executive Council to ban us from participation in all VPA activities. We intend to appeal the decision,” the head of school at MVCS, Vicky Fogg, said in an email. “Canceling our membership is not a solution and does nothing to deal with the very real issue of safety and fairness facing women’s sports in our beloved state. We urge the VPA to reconsider its policies, and balance the rights of every athlete in the state.”
A 2017 report in the journal Sports Medicine that reviewed several related studies found “no direct or consistent research” on trans people having an athletic advantage over their cisgender peers, and critics say the recent surge in anti-trans rhetoric and legislation adds to the discrimination that trans people – particularly trans youth – face.
VPA said its executive council held a meeting March 13 to discuss the forfeited game and came to “an immediate determination of ineligibility for Mid Vermont Christian in VPA sanctioned activities and tournaments going forward.” The news release cites the letter VPA sent to MVCS.
MVCS was set to play against Long Trail School in February, but MVCS forfeited the game due to a transgender player on Long Trail’s roster, the head of school at MVCS, Fogg previously told CNN.
“We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players,” Fogg previously said. “Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”
CNN has repeatedly reached out to Long Trail for comment.
In its March 13 release, VPA said it “reiterates its ongoing support of transgender student-athletes as not only a part of building an inclusive community for each student to grow and thrive, but also as a clear expectation by Vermont state law(s) in the Agency of Education Best Practices, and in VPA Policy regarding transgender student athletes.”
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