LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Parents, community members, organizations, and students will rally in front of a Hempfield District school board meeting Tuesday night to protest the possible reversal of a trans-athlete rule.
Currently, trans-student-athletes are allowed to participate in Hempfield sports on the team that best matches their gender identity. This is in line with the PIAA policy that allows rules about this issue to be determined at the school level.
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The school board may be planning to retract what is now in place, which will prohibit transgender students’ participation in school sports that align with their gender identity.
Board members are taking opinions from a non-profit law firm, Independent Law Center, stating on the firm’s website they are an organization that “works to preserve religious liberty, promote marriage and the family, protect human life, and improve education and policy for our clients.”
Parents against this reversal say they are speaking out for those who are cannot or are afraid.
“What has happened over the course of the year is that the district’s solicitor, Fox Rothschild, has told them do not go ahead with a policy that excludes trans students you do not want to be the first one to make this kind of policy this will end up in the courts,” said parent Jamie Beth Cohen.
In June, a policy committee voted seven to two in favor of the new policy that would require student-athletes to play on teams according to their biological sex. It still has to pass a second reading before it’s implemented, which is expected Tuesday night.
Most people at the June meeting supported the new policy, where the only accommodation would be made for biologically male students trying out for “teams designated for females” if they provide a doctor’s note to the athletic director certifying the student hasn’t started “male puberty.”
In the wording of the new policy, the majority of the Hempfield school district believes Title IX, which creates equal athletic opportunities for girls, also should protect them from having to compete against transgender girls.
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Ahead of this month’s meeting, parents against the new policy have voiced concern that, if implemented, will not only hurt transgender students but also influence Title IX funding and put up the risk that other township sports teams do not have to play them due to the policy.
The rally is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday night.
This is a developing story, stay with abc27 online and on-air for updates.