The Department of Education says it will investigate the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy of allowing boys who identify as transgender to compete in girls’ high school sports.
In response to a complaint filed by the nonprofit legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of three families, on Wednesday the department granted a request for the Office of Civil Rights to investigate claims of discrimination resulting from the CIAC transgender participation policy.
In the complaint filed in June, ADF argued that the CIAC policy of allowing biological males to compete in girls’ athletic events violates Title IX civil rights law, which bans discrimination on the basis of sex in public schools.
Earlier this year, 16-year-old track athlete Selina Soule missed the cut to qualify for New England regionals, an event attended by college scouts, because two boys who identify as transgender finished first and second in a qualifying event.
The families’ complaint alleges that after the CIAC adopted its policy of allowing biological males to compete with girls, which was sometime before 2017, Soule and two other female athletes have been deprived of honors and opportunities to compete at higher levels.
The families said they tried to raise their concerns with officials from the CIAC and the school district. But officials refused to acknowledge that any discrimination had taken place, the families said.
A notice this week from OCR states that the agency will investigate whether the CIAC denied equal athletic benefits and opportunities to girls through its Transgender Participation Policy.
Additionally, the OCR will investigate whether the CIAC and the Glastonbury Board of Education retaliated against the students for their advocacy.
The complaint adds that after Soule’s mother spoke out about the issue of gender discrimination, Soule has faced retaliation.
“[H]er track coach has forced her to perform workouts that are not generally applied for short-distance sprinters, and has forbidden her from competing in any high school track and field event unless she completes them,” the complaint alleges. “The coach has never imposed that kind of condition on Selina before. Worse, a coach told Selina and her father that if a college recruiter asked him about Selina, ‘he would not be able to give a good report about her.'”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith