Updated: Jun 22
The Alaska Board of Education has taken a step toward implementing regulations that would exclude transgender girls from participating in high school sports for girls. This move has sparked significant opposition from various groups and individuals who argue that such regulations are discriminatory and harmful to transgender students. The proposed policy, which limits participation to individuals assigned female at birth, is seen as an infringement on the rights of transgender girls and disregards their lived experiences. This is just one of the policy changes that echoes the "Don't Say Gay" bills being enacted in red states across the nation.
Critics of the policy change, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, the Anchorage School Board president, the Association of Alaska School Boards, and the NEA-Alaska, believe that it perpetuates discrimination and fosters a climate of fear and exclusion for transgender students. They argue that transgender girls deserve the same opportunities as their cisgender peers and should be allowed to participate in sports teams that align with their gender identity. By implementing these regulations, the board is seen as undermining inclusivity and disregarding the well-being of transgender students.
Senator Löki Tobin wrote in a letter to the board, "As a former high school wrestler who regularly competed against males, I am dismayed at the politicization of interscholastic activities in this way. Why are you so willing to ignore our state’s robust legislative process in this matter?"
Opponents argue that the proposed regulations do not reflect the inclusive values of society and ignore the challenges faced by transgender individuals, ultimately perpetuating discrimination and marginalization.
Felix Myers, who is the student representative and the dissenting voice on the board, has voiced concerns about the negative impact this policy would have on transgender students, highlighting the harassment and vitriol they often face. “We have not seen this be an issue in Alaska, and there’s a reason for that. If you have talked to trans students, if you know these kids, they are in fear of competing in athletics, because of the vitriol, because of the harassment, because of what they face if they are put into that situation. And everyone knows — they face it from adults, they face it from their peers, they face it from their competitors.”
Send your comments opposing this proposed change to email@example.com before July 21. You may also provide oral comments relevant to the proposed action at a hearing to be held on July 26, 2023, via Zoom platform. There will not be in-person attendance provided at the hearing site, so please prepare to share your oral comments by Zoom or telephone only. You may join the online Zoom meeting at http://us02web.zoom.us/j/99391482721 or by calling 1-253-215-8782 and selecting *9 on your phone’s keypad. The hearing is scheduled from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. and priority will be given to commenters on the line before the beginning of the hearing. The hearing may be extended to accommodate those on the line before 9:15 a.m. who did not have an opportunity to comment.
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