The Virginia High School League announced that the organization will reject recent state guidance from the Department of Education which requires sports teams to be separated on the basis of biological sex rather than gender identity, according to the Associated Press.
John Haun, the executive director of the Virginia High School League, which oversees most school sports in the state, informed school leaders Monday that the organization will keep its existing policies which allow students to compete on the basis of gender identity if certain standards are met, according to the AP. Under new regulations rolled out by Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration, public school athletics are to be separated on the basis of biological sex.
“As the VHSL [Virginia High School League] fall sport season begins this week, I am recommending the League stay with the current policy which has served us well,” Haun wrote in an advisory to school leaders, according to the AP. “We certainly will respect the decision of any school division as they address their policies and will continue to review this matter as we move forward and the new school year begins.”
The Virginia High School League’s policy allows students to compete in sports on the basis of gender identity if the child has undergone a sex change procedure before puberty, the AP reported. Students can compete on the basis of gender identity if they are undergoing hormone therapy “in a verifiable manner and for a sufficient length of time to minimize gender-related advantages,” the Virginia High School League’s policy states.
Under the Virginia Department of Education’s final transgender guidance released July 18, school bathrooms and locker rooms are to be used on the basis of biological sex rather than gender identity. Teachers are to use a student’s name and pronouns as assigned at birth unless a parent has given written permission for their child to be called something else, the guidance states.
Though school boards now must adopt policies in accordance with the state guidance, several schools within Virginia have decided they will be rejecting the finalized policies, Fox 5 News reported. Alexandria City Public School announced Monday that it will not be adopting a policy in accordance with the state guidance.
“The law states Virginia Department of Education shall provide and school boards shall adopt,” Macaulay Porter, Youngkin’s spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The Virginia High School League does not have a role. The Virginia Department of Education has fulfilled its responsibility to develop the model policies, school boards are expected to follow the law.”
The Virginia High School League did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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