Earlier this evening, the Norfolk Public Schools Board of Education voted 5 to 1 to approve a policy that would prevent transgender students from participating in school athletics.Â
The policy, which requires student athletes to play on sports teams that correspond with their â€œbiological sex at birth,â€ is unnecessary and discriminatory, given that the Nebraska School Activities Association already has requirements in place in order for transgender athletes to compete.
According to the ACLU of Nebraska, â€œbarring trans students from participating in sports is impermissible sex discrimination, a violation of Title IX, and a denial of equal protection.â€
Further, the policy has proven to be unpopular amongst youth themselves. Students created and circulated an online petition that received nearly 500 signatures opposing the policy.
â€œPolicies like these are meant to send the message that transgender people are not welcome, and that is a message we will not stand for,â€ says Abbi Swatsworth, executive director of OutNebraska. â€œEvery single student, transgender or not, deserves the opportunity to challenge themselves, improve fitness and be part of a team.â€
Despite this disappointing outcome, OutNebraska will continue to advocate for the rights of all gay and transgender Nebraskans, especially our youth.
OutNebraska is a non-partisan organization working to empower, celebrate and grow LGBTQ+ communities in Nebraska. For more information visit outnebraska.org