Last month, a Christian high school in Vermont forfeited a basketball playoff game against a rival school over concerns that a transgender player on the other team gave it an unfair advantage.
Mid Vermont Christian School administrator Vicky Fogg explained the decision in a statement at the time, writing: “We believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players.”
She went on to conclude that permitting “biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”
Standing w @MidVermontCS Mid Vermont Christian School girls basketball team for refusing to play in a tournament w opposing biological male player on American Agenda w hosts @KatrinaSzish @BobSellersTV & panelist @whitleyjyates @NEWSMAX TV pic.twitter.com/U0W5M3qhHs
— Deneen Borelli (@deneenborelli) February 28, 2023
Not only did that decision eliminate MVCS from contention in the playoffs, but the Vermont Principals’ Association has subsequently determined that the school should be prevented from participating in any future state athletic competitions.
In a statement released on Monday, the organization that oversees high school sports statewide touted its “commitment to racial, gender-fair, and disability awareness” before confirming an “immediate determination” that MVCS would no longer be eligible for state-sanctioned athletic events.
Of course, the concept of gender fairness is at the root of the school’s decision to pull out of a game against a team that includes a biological male on its roster. A number of Republican-led states clearly agree, as evidenced by a growing number of laws prohibiting transgender athletes from playing gender-segregated sports.
Vermont, however, has no such protections for female athletes. It is one of just 10 U.S. states with what the site Trans Athlete described as “friendly” rules regarding the participation of transgender and nonbinary high school athletes on girls’ teams.
As such, the VPA insists that MVCS has violated policies ostensibly designed to “prohibit discrimination and/or harassment of students on school property or at school functions by students or employees.”
The school’s fight is not over just yet, though. In a statement following the ruling, Fogg admitted she was “disappointed” but confirmed that she would appeal it.
“Canceling our membership is not a solution and does nothing to deal with the very real issue of safety and fairness facing women’s sports in our beloved state,” she asserted. “We urge the VPA to reconsider its policies, and balance the rights of every athlete in the state.”