Manhattan school district calls for review of policy allowing trans-identified athletes in girls’ sports

Anna Teague of the Cats is tackled by trans-identified athlete Hannah Mouncey of the Falcons during the round six VFLW match between Geelong and Darebin at GMHBA Stadium on June 16, 2018, in Geelong, Australia.
Anna Teague of the Cats is tackled by trans-identified athlete Hannah Mouncey of the Falcons during the round six VFLW match between Geelong and Darebin at GMHBA Stadium on June 16, 2018, in Geelong, Australia. | Kelly Defina/AFL Media/Getty Images

Officials in Manhattan’s largest school board district, Community Education Council District 2, sparked outraged among LGBT officials Wednesday when they voted overwhelmingly to pass a resolution that could ban boys who identify as female from competing in girls' sports.

Resolution #248,  sponsored by board members Maud Maron, Allyson Bowen, Sabena Serinese and Len Silverman, was passed with an 8–3 vote and calls on New York City Public Schools to immediately convene a review of the NYC Department of Education’s first ever Guidelines on Gender adopted in 2019, that allowed school policies to replace the category of biological sex with gender identity in all areas, including Public School Athletic League sports teams and participation.

Along with her other board member colleagues supporting the resolution, Maron, a former president of the council, who describes herself on X as an “unapologetic old-school liberal. Happy warrior for high quality public education & parents’ rights,” argue that the Guidelines on Gender negatively impacts girls.

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“The publicly available information on the process of developing the 2019 Gender Guidelines does not indicate that female athletes, coaches, or sports medicine doctors or evolutionary biology experts were ever consulted or considered despite the long history of female athletes fighting for equitable and meaningful access to sports participation. The Guidelines were developed by the City’s first LGBTQ Liaison and stakeholders who were already supportive of replacing sex with gender identity,” the board members note in the resolution.

“The Gender Guidelines, as currently drafted, present challenges to youth athletes and coaches. Some of the concerns raised about the current Gender Guidelines center on preserving and acknowledging decades of progress by NYC PSAL female athletes to achieve sports equity.”

In a joint statement responding the resolution, Council Member Erik Bottcher, state Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, and state Assembly Members Deborah Glick and Tony Simone called it an attack on boys who self-identify as girls. 

“As LGBTQ elected officials representing vibrant and diverse districts in Manhattan that are covered by Community Education Council District 2 (CEC D2), we are outraged that CEC D2 is considering a resolution targeting transgender girls in sports,” the politicians said.

“It is utterly shocking that such a regressive and harmful resolution is being proposed in a school district that covers much of Manhattan, including the neighborhoods of Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea and Greenwich Village, the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement, and neighborhoods that are home to the largest LGBTQ communities in the United States.”

They further argued that the resolution “is based on the false premise that the gender identity policy negatively impacts female athletes, and stems from the misguided notion that the inclusion of transgender students in sports diminishes the experience of other student athletes.”

They also branded the proposal to review and make changes to the 2019 Gender Guidelines as discriminatory and vowed to fight it.

“This resolution not only goes against the principles of fairness and inclusion, but also perpetuates harmful stereotypes and bias against a population that is already subject to vicious discrimination and harassment,” the officials argued. “Discrimination has no place in our schools, city, or state, and we are proud that New York is a legal safe haven for transgender young people and their families. We will not stand idly by while transgender students are threatened and victimized by the very people who are supposed to be protecting them.”

Linda Quarles, a parent who was at the council meeting on Wednesday, noted that while there is no consensus on the issue of trans-identified boys competing in girls' sports, nationally or globally, there is much they have learned in the past five years.

“This regulation has been in place for five years, I’m sure we’ve learned much about how this is impacting girls’ sports in our schools,” Quarles told the New York Post about the proposal to review the Gender Guidelines. “It gives us an opportunity to look back and understand that the regulation is meeting its original intent.”

Maron, who has previously called for trans-identified male athletes to be banned from girls' sports, told the New York Post that the review needs to happen to ensure all voices are heard on the subject.

“If we have a proper and real conversation, one of the outcomes could be that nothing changes and that we all discover that these guidelines are just perfect as they are,” she said. “But another one of the possibilities is that we realize that the excluded voices had something really important to offer and they should have been heard from in the beginning.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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