After delaying a decision on whether to ban gender-confused biological males from participating in girls high school sports, the Alaska State Board of Education is set to vote on the proposal during an Aug. 31 meeting.
In July, the board received more than 1,300 written comments and listened to more than two and a half hours of testimony – both for and against the proposal. In order to give due consideration to all comments, the board chose to postpone a final decision.
On Thursday, however, the board is set to take a final vote, which would clarify that girls’ sports are for females only.
The one-paragraph proposal states that it aims to ensure “fairness, safety, and equal opportunity for female students in high school athletics” by stipulating that if schools create a high school team for females, “participation shall be limited to females who were assigned female at birth.”
While there will be no public testimony, the public is invited to attend this meeting by joining online through Zoom (click here for details), or via phone at (253) 215-8782. The meeting starts at 1 p.m.
Advocates of the proposed rule change include scores of parents, athletes and coaches who are concerned that gender-confused biological males pose a threat to the integrity and safety of female sports. They have also pointed out that girls stand to lose out on opportunities to compete for championships and earn scholarships if their division is opened up to biological males.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
Opponents of the proposed change included activist groups Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Alaska, along with many public school teachers and principals. These groups claim that males who think they are females should be encouraged and supported in their beliefs, even if that means letting physically stronger and faster boys compete as though they were girls.
“Trans girls are girls,” was a commonly repeated phrase throughout the public testimonies in July.
If adopted, the proposed changes would direct the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA), which oversees high school athletic competitions in Alaska, to bar gender-confused biological males from participating in female-only competitions.
Currently, each individual school is allowed to make a “gender determination” regarding a student’s sex. ASAA simply accepts – without challenge – whatever each school determines, which means gender-confused biological males who claim to be female have been allowed to compete against girls in Alaska. Anchorage and Fairbanks are the two largest districts that allow for this, while the Mat-Su expressly prohibits biological males from competing on all-girls teams.
To contact members of the State Board of Education, use the contacts listed below.
— State Board Chair James Fields – Email: email@example.com
— Board member Lorri Van Diest – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
— Board member Jeffrey Erickson – Email: email@example.com
— Board member Bob Griffin – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
— Board member Sally Stockhausen – Email: email@example.com
— Board member Barbara Tyndall – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
— Board member Pamela Dupras – Email: email@example.com
— Military Advisor LTC James Fowley – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
— Student Advisor Felix Myers – Email: email@example.com