After declining to play against a team that featured a transgender player on its roster, a Vermont high school girls basketball team withdrew from the state tournament.
Last Tuesday evening, the girls basketball team from Mid Vermont Christian School (MVCS) was scheduled to play Long Trail School in the opening round. Nonetheless, the school forfeited and was forced to withdraw from the year-end competition because it was unwilling to play against a team that featured a biologically male player.
Vicky Fogg, the head of school at MVCS, sent a statement to The National Desk, “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. Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”
A girls high school basketball team in Vermont withdrew from a state tournament after refusing to play against another team that had a transgender player on its roster. https://t.co/VOivPQNXAr
— WEAR ABC 3 (@weartv) February 27, 2023
There is no law in Vermont prohibiting transgender female students from playing on girls sports teams.
Students may participate on the team that fits the gender identification they use at school, according to the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA), the state’s governing organization for school sports, as reported by the VTDigger.
According to Valley News, the VPA’s assistant executive director, Lauren Thomas said “I have received calls (from schools) asking for best practices and how to go forward knowing they were going to play a team with a transgender female on it. We just supported our stance and our best practices through our inclusivity statement.”
In a proposal for public money earlier this year, MVCS and another religiously connected school asserted to the Vermont Board of Education that they had a constitutional right to make choices that other publicly funded, non-religious schools cannot.
New federal anti-discrimination legislation that would permit transgender athletes to play on sports teams that do not match the gender given to them at birth have raised concerns among opponents across the nation that they could endanger women’s sports.