Post submitted by Allison Turner, HRC Communications Assistant

The Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) has adopted a new policy forcing transgender student athletes to petition for approval from the NSAA before participating in a gendered sport.

Transgender students must provide “credible documentation” from family, friends and teachers, as well as accompanying input from a physician, psychologist, a member of NSAA and member from a non-competing school.

The approval process requires a committee of physicians and psychologists to determine if the athlete “truly” identifies with a different gender than the one they were assigned at birth. Trans women athletes are additionally required to undergo hormone therapy for at least one year.

Even after this tedious and unnecessary process, transgender student athletes are still barred from using facilities appropriate for their gender, forced into either using a private facility or one associated with the gender they were assigned at birth.

This dangerous and discriminatory policy further isolates transgender students, who, according to HRC survey, already struggle for acceptance. Only five percent of gender-expansive youth feel a complete sense of belonging in their communities and only 30 percent of gender-expansive youth feel accepted by their peers in school.

The next meeting of the NSAA will be in April, where they could vote on a role forcing all students to only participate in school activities in accordance with their assigned birth gender.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska (ACLU) has issued a warning to the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) prior to the vote, saying that if the proposal moves forward, the ACLU warns that they will sue on the grounds that the rule violates Title IX, which prohibits schools that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of sex.

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