ACLU urges supportive transgender policy for school sports

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska has written letters to the Nebraska School Activities Association encouraging the organization to draft a policy that respects transgender students’ participation in sports.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports the association’s board has met in executive sessions to discuss a proposed policy on transgender students, but executive director Jim Tenopir says a vote on a policy is unlikely to happen in November.

Tenopir has met with more than 20 groups, including school administrators, to gather input.

The Nebraska Family Alliance and Nebraska Catholic Conference have told the board that it should require students to play in sports based on the gender on their birth certificate. Former conference executive director Rhonda Blanford-Green introduced a transgender policy two years ago, but it was never enacted. Those who opposed the policy at the time threatened litigation, Tenopir said.

ACLU officials said complaints from transgender students have increased in recent years but noted the situations had been resolved through individual school districts without litigation.

Tenopir said that even with a policy by the association, it will be important for all schools to develop a protocol to deal with issues such as locker room and bathroom use.

“We’ll do the best we can and hope people understand what we’re doing is in the best interest of kids and not trying to push an agenda,” he said.

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