Instruction & Curriculum

Opinion: Protect Transgender Students: Block Anti-Transgender Sports Ban Bill

In recent news, Michigan filed a bill, SB 218, violating the human rights of high school transgender students. More than 20 states are adopting an anti-transgender student bill that would ban high school transgender students from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity.
Why was this bill introduced?
The reasoning behind the bill is to keep competitions fair. Senator Rep. Jim Runestad claims that “it is not fair for biological boys to compete with cisgender females,” claiming they have an unfair advantage athletically over cisgender females.
Stop discriminating against Transgender athletes
This bill is cleverly disguised to make competitive sports fair. Though, it is just another discrimination tactic by the far right. This bill does not protect cisgender students, it discriminates against a group of students who already face hate and higher risks of violence.
How could they enforce this bill?
This bill could lead to an inspection of the genitals of these students. The bill states that gender is determined solely based on the person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth. How do they plan to check this? Birth certificates can be updated to reflect a transgender person’s gender identity through a court order, easily. This bill is inviting a violation of a Transgender youth’s personal privacy.
What will they take away next?
This bill is just one of a recent rash of anti-transgender rights bills being introduced now. In 2021, there have been 82 anti-transgender bills proposed. Anti-Transgender bills have been introduced to force transgender students to use a bathroom that reflects their assigned gender at birth, putting transgender girls at high risks of assault when trying to use the bathroom. Transgender teens are at risk of being denied medical care, and now they cannot participate in sports. What are they going to take next?
Transgender Students Have Rights
According to The National Center for Transgender Equality (2021), Title IX is a federal law that makes discriminating against transgender students illegal.
Trans students have the right to expect teachers, staff, and coaches to respect their gender identity.
They have the right to require teachers, staff, and coaches to call them by their pronouns and name that matches their gender identity.
Transgender students are protected against anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies in school.
Transgender students have the right to participate in the same opportunities afforded to cisgender students.
Transgender students have the right to dress in a way that reflects their personal and gender identity.
Transgender students have the right to protect their privacy about being transgender.
Transgender students have the right to form clubs and alliances that protect and support other transgender students.
These current anti-transgender bills are violating almost every right listed on the National Center for Transgender Equality website.
Conclusion
Transgender students deserve to be represented in our schools. They deserve a safe place to learn, a safe place to socialize, fair and appropriate medical care, and a safe place to participate in team sports. Stop this hateful bill and speak up for transgender students everywhere!
Reference
The National Center for Transgender Equality. (2021). Transgender Student Rights. Retrieved from https://transequality.org/know-your-rights/schools

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