HEMPFIELD, Pa. (WHTM) — It wasn’t on the agenda and it was a last-minute motion, the vote to rescind a July 13 decision made by Hempfield School Board members. They want to retain the Independence Law Center and add a district solicitor as well to help develop policy on transgender students in athletics. LGBTQ advocates say that doesn’t go far enough.
“If you’re looking at tarns inclusion in high school sports as a religious liberty issue, you are looking at it with the wrong lens. They should not be at the table. There should be psychologists, medical professionals, and school administration making these decisions,” Hempfield School District parent Jamie Cohen Schindler said.
Right now, students in the Hempfield School District can play on teams that match their gender identity. Some want it changed so that students can only play on teams that match the gender they were assigned at birth.
The board previously voted to kick the decision to the administration, with help from the Independence Law Center, a firm with a history of defending anti-LGBTQ causes in court. The Hempfield School Board wouldn’t comment on its decision to stick with the partnership, one that Adam Hosey sees as a violation of church and state.
“After engaging with Hempfield School District the ILC has actually changed their website to remove specific words like Christian ministry from their mission which I find really interesting,” LGBTQ advocate, Adam Hosey said.
For Jamie Beth,, it’s not about policy, it’s about humanity. “There is a lot of confusion around trans inclusion based on junk science and based on fear. Trans communities are part of our community. They always will be,” Cohen Schindler said. “So we as a school district need to be raising students that are able to overcome their own personal discomfort to support the humanity of all their peers.”
The district expects an update in the athletic policies sometime in the coming months.