MSHSL must pass transgender policy

The Minnesota State High School League will vote Thursday on a policy proposal intended to provide a set of recommendations on how to treat transgender students’ eligibility to participate in sports in line with their gender identities. With increased acceptance and understanding of gender identity, the policy has garnered large amounts of support during discussions preceding the vote.

Proponents claim that the policy allows greater inclusion for transgender students who often feel that they do not belong and allows for high schools to make “reasonable and appropriate restroom and locker room” accommodations. Essentially, the policy would make transgender students included on prep sports teams of the gender with which they identify.

Not everyone agrees. Opponents such as the Minnesota Child Protection League, which has run two anti-transgender advertisements in the Star Tribune before votes on the proposal, questions the safety of allowing shared locker rooms with transgender students. Other groups such as the Minnesota Family Council, a Christian organization, argue that religious schools should get an exemption, as they do not recognize gender identity issues as legitimate. 

Though some may not understand the problems transgender students encounter in high school, this should not be an excuse to exclude them from activities like sports. We feel that the proposed policy is long-overdue and urge the MSHSL to pass it.

Everyone deserves the right to be treated fairly and have the opportunity to compete in high school sports without the fear of discrimination.