With a number of states passing or considering laws preventing transgender student-athletes from competing on teams that correspond with their gender identity, the Madison Metropolitan Metropolitan School District in Wisconsin got ahead of the issue by opposing such limitations.
A resolution passed Monday night reads in part that, “THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education affirms, supports, and values the gender identities and gender expressions of all our students and will continue to further efforts in our schools to create a welcoming, safe, and inclusive learning environment for our transgender, nonbinary, and all LGBTQ+ students; and, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education supports human rights and equitable educational opportunities and practices for all LGBTQ+ students; and, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education rejects any legislation or action that dehumanizes, marginalizes, or violates the rights of transgender, nonbinary, and all LGBTQ+ students.”
According to WMTV, an NBC affiliate in Madison, MMSD’s Monday night resolution stated that the Department of Public Instruction and Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association have already declared that it would be sex discrimination to prevent students from playing on teams consistent with their gender identity. MMSD added that legislation limiting transgender students would violate state and federal law.
MMSD also released a “position statement in support of transgender children,” which said in part, “Transgender kids, like all other kids, deserve the same chances to learn teamwork, leadership, and self-discipline, and to build a sense of belonging with their peers. Athletics provide an environment that supports both physical and mental health.
“We will not waver in our commitment to inclusive practices in our schools, and that includes student extracurricular activities and athletics. Banning transgender students from sports is not only extremely harmful but undermines the work we have done as a district over the last decade.
“Transgender children are children. We believe they deserve to live authentically and participate fully in athletics. The Madison Metropolitan School District stands in strong opposition to the exclusion of transgender and non-binary youth from school sports.”
WMTV reported that two related pieces of legislation have been proposed in the Wisconsin Legislature. Both bills would define a student’s sex as the one on their birth certificate, and would break sports teams into male, female or coed. Neither bill has been up for a vote.
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