ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Transgender high school athletes in New Jersey can now play sports that match their gender identities without having to provide a doctor's note.
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Association has approved a policy allowing athletes to simply notify school administrators if they wish to change their gender. Previously, they needed a doctor's note or official documentation.
A new state law requires that students be allowed to participate in activities corresponding to their gender identities, but the association's attorney, Steve Goodell, said the organization didn't want to wait for the state department of education to act.
He also said the association heard from members of the transgender community who didn't believe students should have to prove their transgender status.
"They really made a convincing case that this is not something the students are making up to try to game the system," Goodell told the Press of Atlantic City.
With the issue of transgender athletes being debated on the national level, the association's executive director, Steve Timko, said he believes the organization has adapted well.
"I think we've been very good about keeping up with what's happening now versus the way it was five or 10 years ago," he said.
An appeals process will be available for schools to raise concerns about safety or competitive imbalance.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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