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Friday, February 26, 2016

Report: School Districts Approve UIL Measure that Impedes High School Trans Athletes

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 5:06 PM

click to enlarge A new UIL rule complicates matters for transgender high school athletes. - VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS (STUART SEEGER)
  • Via Flickr Creative Commons (Stuart Seeger)
  • A new UIL rule complicates matters for transgender high school athletes.

Texas school districts backed a proposal that would use students' gender on their birth certificates, prohibiting transgender students from playing on a team which aligns with their gender identity, according to The Texas Observer.

School district athletic directors and superintendents approved the proposal after the University Interscholastic League (UIL) legislative council recommended such a move in October 2015. The measure passed overwhelmingly, by a 409-25 vote.

San Antonio-area school districts such as Northside ISD, Alamo Heights ISD and Judson ISD supported the amendment, according to documents obtained by the Observer.

But most districts in the area, including San Antonio ISD, South Side ISD and Harlandale ISD, were not listed on the voting document. Kate Hector, a UIL spokeswoman, said that ballots were sent to all UIL districts, and those that failed to mail them back in would not be listed on the voting document. 

LGBT advocates condemned the measure.

“These discriminatory athletic policies, they stigmatize transgender students by singling them out,” Paul Castillo, an attorney for the LGBT rights group Lambda Legal told the Observer. “Transgender students already face high rates of physical and verbal harassment at schools.”

The measure will go into effect on August 1.

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