A Vermont religious school has been banned from participating in future tournaments by the Vermont Principals’ Association after withdrawing its girls’ basketball team from a playoff game because a transgender student was playing on the opposing team. The Mid Vermont Christian School in White River Junction forfeited the February 21 game citing concerns about the fairness of the game and the safety of their players. The school’s actions violated the policies of the Principals’ Association, the governing body for Vermont school sports and activities, and apply to all sports.
The Association’s executive council stated that the school did not meet its policies on race, gender, and disability awareness and therefore would not be able to participate in future tournaments that it sanctions. It further emphasized its ongoing support of transgender student-athletes and the importance of building an inclusive community for each student to grow and thrive. This support is not only an expectation by Vermont state law but is also included in the Agency of Education Best Practices and in VPA Policy regarding transgender student-athletes.
The actions of Mid Vermont Christian School highlight the ongoing discrimination and marginalization faced by transgender individuals, especially in sports. This incident underscores the importance of implementing policies and practices that protect the rights and well-being of transgender students, while also ensuring that they are not excluded from participating in sports or other activities based on their gender identity. The decision by the Principals’ Association to ban Mid Vermont Christian School serves as a reminder that discriminatory actions against transgender individuals will not be tolerated and that efforts must be made to promote a safe and inclusive environment for all students, regardless of their gender identity.