COLLEGE BASKETBALL SHOCK!!! Mid Vermont Christian School’s girls team DECLARE to DROP basketball tournament rather than face a team with a transgender player, Says ‘It’s Not Right’. Full Story in comments!

Mid Vermont Christian school’s girls’ team forfeit basketball tournament rather than face team with transgender player

Maya Yang

Thu 2 Mar 2023 11.00 GMT

A Christian school in Vermont has decided to forfeit a basketball tournament due to its refusal to play against a transgender athlete.

On 21 February, Mid Vermont Christian school’s girls basketball team was scheduled to play an out-of-state tournament against Long Trail school. However, MVCS chose to forfeit the game due to a transgender player on Long Trail’s team.

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“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,” MCVS head of school Vicky Fogg said in a statement obtained by the Guardian. “Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”

In response to the forfeit, the Vermont Principals’ Association, a multi-school organization that sponsors various sport activities, told the Guardian that it “reiterates its support for each student”.

According to its policy on gender identity which “supports transgender student athletes”, the VPA is “committed to providing all students with the opportunity to participate in VPA activities in a manner consistent with their gender identity”.

It added that VPA policies “prohibit discrimination and/or harassment of students on school property or at school functions by students or employees. The prohibition against discrimination includes discrimination based on a student’s actual or perceived sex and gender.”

The Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has criticized MVCS’s decision to forfeit the tournament. In a statement to the Guardian, the chapter’s executive director James Lyall said: “All trans students deserve to attend schools where they feel safe in their gender identity and expression. That includes equal opportunity to participate in athletics and access locker rooms, restrooms, and other facilities consistent with their gender identity.”

The LGBTQ+ youth service non-profit Outright Vermont echoed ACLU’s sentiments.

“For a trans youth to be the explicit focus of targeted hate it is unconscionable, and it can wreak extreme havoc on their life. So we are concerned for them and their family,” said Dana Kaplan, Outright Vermont’s executive director.

“This recent issue of forfeiting a game because you disagree with someone’s right to exist is a clear example of what is happening in Vermont and around the country … Let’s be clear, attempts to limit these rights are not only illegal, but actively contribute to a culture of division, bullying and gender policing that makes schools less safe for all youth,” Kaplan added.

In recent years, the inclusion of transgender athletes, especially in girls’ and women’s sports, has been met with pushback from conservatives, with many arguing that transgender athletes have an advantage over cisgender women. Eighteen states have passed laws that prohibit transgender athletes from taking part in female school sports.

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Earlier this year, dozens of demonstrators protested outside the National Collegiate Athletic Association in San Antonio, Texas, following the NCAA’s inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports.

Meanwhile, advocates argue for the inclusion of an already marginalized group that has faced historic discrimination, and threats to their lives.

In a report released last year by the Trevor Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention, more than 50% of trans and non-binary youth in US considered suicide in the past year – the same year in which more than 150 bills restricting transgender people were filed across states in 2022.

“Politically motivated attacks by anti-trans politicians have fueled countless acts of discrimination targeting trans youth, and led to a horrific increase in acts of violence and murders of trans people. It is incumbent on all of us to call out these dangerous and bigoted attacks for what they are, and to affirm that the rights, dignity and humanity of trans youth are not up for debate,” Lyall said.

Well, 2023 didn’t exactly go to plan, did it?

Here in the UK, the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, had promised us a government of stability and competence – not forgetting professionalism, integrity and accountability – after the rollercoaster ride of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. Remember Liz? These days she seems like a long forgotten comedy act. Instead, Sunak took us even further through the looking-glass into the Conservative psychodrama.

Elsewhere, the picture has been no better. In the US, Donald Trump is now many people’s favourite to become president again. In Ukraine, the war has dragged on with no end in sight. The danger of the rest of the world getting battle fatigue and losing interest all too apparent. Then there is the war in the Middle East and not forgetting the climate crisis …

But a new year brings new hope. There are elections in many countries, including the UK and the US. We have to believe in change. That something better is possible. The Guardian will continue to cover events from all over the world and our reporting now feels especially important. But running a news gathering organisation doesn’t come cheap.

So this year, I am asking you – if you can afford it – to give money. Well, not to me personally – though you can if you like – but to the Guardian. The average monthly support in Vietnam is around $4, however much you give, all that matters is you’re choosing to support open, independent journalism.

With your help, we can make our journalism free to everyone. You won’t ever find any of our news reports or comment pieces tucked away behind a paywall. We couldn’t do this without you. Unlike our politicians, when we say we are in this together we mean it.

Happy new year!

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