Supporters of the policy change said it would provide transgender children with a safety net and prevent them from being blocked from youth sports opportunities.
“Knowing that our middle school kids — they don’t have to go before that invasive panel of four experts that would essentially tell them who they are,” said Angie Kahney, a social worker and activist with NHC Educational Justice.
Those who oppose the measure say allowing athletes assigned male at birth to perform in female sports will put girls at a disadvantage due to inherent biological differences and take away their future athletic opportunities.
"Biological males are generally bigger, faster, and stronger than biological females," an attendee at Wednesday's board meeting said during a public comment portion.
But board member Judy Justice said Wednesday she did not believe there would be serious concerns about disadvantaged players for the North Carolina middle school.
"This idea that somehow there’s going to be males that are going to infiltrate the female sports so that they can win. That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard," Justice said. "To me, this is going to be one less painful experience that children really shouldn’t have to go through while they’re developing in life to become the adults they want to be."
It was not immediately clear when the new policy will go into effect. The Washington Examiner contacted the NHC Board of Education but did not immediately receive a response.
NHC's policy vote on Wednesday is just the latest development in a national debate about whether academic institutions should allow transgender athletes to play on teams with players of the gender they identify with rather than their gender at birth.
Nationwide, there are around 60 bills across 31 state governments that would block transgender athletes from participating in sports using their identified gender rather than their biological sex, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Arguments against measures similar to Policy 3620 have been supported by individual testimonials from female athletes, such as Chelsea Mitchell, an award-winning runner from Canton High School in Connecticut. She wrote an op-ed on May 22 claiming she had lost races to transgender athletes competing in her division.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese