EDUCATION & SCHOOLS

Vermont religious school banned from tournaments after refusing to play against team with trans player

Mar 13, 2023, 3:57 PM

FILE (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)...

FILE (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont religious school that withdrew its girls’ basketball team from a playoff game because a transgender student was playing on the opposing team won’t be able to participate in future tournaments, the Vermont Principals’ Association announced Monday.

Mid Vermont Christian School, in White River Junction, Vermont, forfeited the Feb. 21 game, saying that it believed that the transgender player “jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players.”

The executive council of the principals’ association, which is the governing body for Vermont school sports and activities for member schools, ruled that the school had violated policies and is ineligible to participate in future tournaments that it sanctions. The move applies to all sports.

“The VPA again reiterates its ongoing support of transgender student-athletes as not only a part of building an inclusive community for each student to grow and thrive, but also as a clear expectation by Vermont state law(s) in the Agency of Education Best Practices, and in VPA Policy regarding transgender student athletes,” the association said in a statement.

It sent a letter to the school saying that Mid Vermont did not meet the association’s policies on race, gender and disability awareness.

The school did not respond to an email requesting comment.

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Vermont religious school banned from tournaments after refusing to play against team with trans player