In an effort to ensure fairness is girls’ sports, the seven-member Alaska State Board of Education has unanimously passed a resolution urging the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA) to create regulations that explicitly provide for a female-only sports division which is based on a student’s biological sex as determined at birth.
A draft copy of the resolution was sent to the Alaska Watchman, but the final document has not yet been posted on the State Board of Education website.
The resolution, which was passed earlier this week, also calls for a special co-ed division, and urges the ASAA to address these concerns in its bylaws for the 2024 fiscal year.
The ASAA is a nonprofit that contracts with the state to govern, promote and oversee statewide athletic competitions across Alaska, and it has final say over the regulations. ASAA currently allows each individual school district to determine whether to allow transgender-identifying athletes to compete in regional and state championship events. Several school districts, such as Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau, let biological males compete against females if they claim to be girls. Critics of these policies note that they create an unfair advantage, and present a danger to biological females.
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In passing the resolution, the board stated that Alaska must “prioritize competitive fairness and safety on the playing field.”
The resolution notes that “separation of boys and girls in sports is related to competitive fairness and promotion of broad and equal participation.”
It observes that “at puberty biological male athletes generally gain physiological advantages such as larger skeletal structure, greater muscle mass and strength, less body fat, greater bone density, larger hearts and greater oxygen-carrying capacity.”
The board then cautions against the use of cross-sex hormones, which aim to “transition” children so they appear as the opposite sex.
“…medically prescribed hormone treatment for the purpose of gender transition is not a best practice recommendation for children under the age of 16,” the board resolution warns.
The document ends by noting that while “transgender student athletes should have opportunity to participate in sports,” this should not undermine the integrity of female sports competitions.
The resolution is being sent to all Alaska school districts, the ASAA Board of Directors and all Alaska State legislators.
— The Alaska School Activities Association will hold its next meeting April 30 to May 2 in Valdez. The meeting is open to the public. Those requesting to make public comments should email firstname.lastname@example.org by noon Thursday, April 27, 2023. Public comments will begin at 9:15 a.m. and may made by calling 1-253-215-8782 entering the meeting ID: 854 0563 4005 # then entering the passcode: 099491. Public comments are limited to no more than three minutes per speaker. Those wishing to speak should begin by stating and spelling their name. In order to have their comments included in the Board minutes, the speaker will need to submit a written copy to email@example.com within one business day.