BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (WCCO) -- Guidelines for handling student-athletes are not normally a big controversy for the Minnesota State High School League.
But setting guidelines for how to handle transgender students who want to join high school teams has supporters and opponents up in arms. A meeting Wednesday afternoon before a vote Thursday aims to answer the lingering questions.
This proposed policy has received fire from both sides. The Child Protection League published an advertisement in the Star Tribune stating, "Your 14-year-old daughter just lost her position on an all-girl team to a male and now she has to shower with him. Are you willing to let that happen?"
Meanwhile, Education Minnesota has urged the league all along to vote as soon as possible so that transgender students can participate in high school sports.
A vote was originally scheduled for October, but the league officials delayed that move in order to have extra time to discuss the proposed policy. If passed, the new guidelines would apply to all 500 of its member high schools, both public and private. The new guidelines would allow boys to be allowed on girls' teams, and vice versa, if they can show they've undergone a medical treatment, like hormone therapy or surgery.
Here's what Education Minnesota had to say: "This policy will ensure all of our students are treated fairly and provide them with competitive environments that are safe, friendly and free of discrimination."
And CPL Action said, "This policy is not safe for any child, including gender-confused children. Keeping the biological genders separate in intimate, private settings and protecting them from competing against each other is simple respect for everyone."
Wednesday's workshop is open to the public, but if the public will be allowed to comment has yet to be decided. The Minnesota State' High School League's president is meeting with organizations for and against the policy ahead of the workshop. So if he will choose to hear more input, beyond that, is still unclear.
The workshop starts at about 3 p.m. and will last a few hours. If the new guidelines pass, the ultimate decision for what teams transgender students would play on would be left in the hands of administrators at each school. But if the student doesn't agree with that decision, he or she would have the right to appeal.
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