A girls’ basketball team at a Christian school in Vermont recently forfeited a game in their state championship tournament because the opposing team had a transgender student on its roster.
Mid Vermont Christian School’s (MVCS) girls’ basketball team, the Eagles, was scheduled to play against the Long Trail Mountain Lions in the fourth game of the league playoffs last Tuesday. However, after discovering they would be playing against a biological male, the team dropped out of the tournament to avoid potential injury and an unfair match.
“We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players,” said MVCS Head of School Vicky Fogg. “Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”
In the state of Vermont, there are no laws prohibiting transgender students from playing on girls’ sports teams. In fact, the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA), the governing body for school sports, says that students may play on the team that aligns with their gender identity.
Lauren Thomas, the assistant executive director for the VPA, revealed that some schools have reached out to the association “asking for best practices and how to go forward knowing they were going to play a team with a transgender female on it.”
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“We just supported our stance and our best practices through our inclusivity statement,” Thomas added.
Vermont’s website for its Agency of Education includes ‘best practices’ for schools regarding transgender and nonconforming students
“Transgender and gender nonconforming students are to be provided the same opportunities to participate in physical education as are all other students,” the Agency of Education’s website says. “Generally, students should be permitted to participate in physical activities and sports will be
Earlier in the year, MVCS and another religiously affiliated school sent a funding application to the Vermont Board of Education in which they stated that they have a constitutional right to make decisions that non-religiously affiliated schools that receive public funding do not.
The application states, “The Mid Vermont Christian School is signing this form with the understanding that it must be read consistent with existing law and the U.S. and Vermont Constitutions. As a religious organization, the school has a statutory and constitutional right to make decisions based on its religious beliefs, including hiring and disciplining employees, associating with others, and in its admissions, conduct, and operations policies and procedures.”