Georgia high school athletic committee bans transgender athletes--do you think this is right?


The Georgia High School Association held an executive meeting on May 4, 2022, that ultimately led to banning all transgender athletes from competing on teams that match the gender they identify with.

For example, a student who identifies as female but is identified as male on their birth certificate cannot participate in sports of the female sex. And vice versa, a student who identifies as male but is listed as a female on their birth certificate can't participate on the men's high school sports teams.

What this means for Georgia High School Sports

The Republican Governor, George Brian Kemp, supported the decision reiterating his stance on the matter by saying, "protect fairness in school sports.”

Robin Hines, the executive director of the Georgia High School Sports Association (GHSA) said that this move goes back to the "birth certificate" rule that existed before 2016. From 2016 until now, individual schools and school boards could decide what teams their students could play on and most schools determined that team delineation by the student's gender listed on their birth certificate. Robin's profile is listed on the GHSA website and purports that he holds a B.S.Ed. and M.Ed. from Valdosta State University and an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University. 

However, unsurprisingly, this move has opponents arguing that's harmful and uncalled for. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) which is considered one of the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization voiced its opposition to this move in a publicized statement:

"This unnecessary push to discriminate against transgender student athletes, which appears to have reached its culmination today, deepens Georgia’s troubling track record on these issues and needlessly harms an already vulnerable population,” said Dewayne Johnson, HRC’s Georgia State Director. “The legislative session was on the verge of adjourning last month when Gov. Kemp put his thumb on the scales to bring this topic back up. Now the Georgia High School Association has followed his example in issuing this ban, and the transgender students of Georgia will be the ones to suffer. This is a travesty and should be reversed.”

They continued their published statement by saying:

This decision is absolutely devastating to families like mine,” said Jen Slipakoff, a Georgia resident and parent of a transgender student. “The cruelty that goes into going after the most vulnerable children is truly astounding. The painful consequences are going to be detrimental to every trans child’s mental health, and they will be negatively impacted for years to come, if not for the rest of their lives. Shame on the GHSA for prioritizing politics over children."

This move by the GHSA comes from a stance that transgender girls have an unfair advantage in sports given their biological average of a bigger size and greater strength. This decision also comes right after Governor George Brian Kemp signed into law Georgia House Bill 1084. This legislation officially gives the power to create an athletics committee with the authority to ban transgender youth from playing on sports teams aligning with their gender identity.

Georgia residents, what do you think of this new policy? Is it fair to transgender students and non-transgender students? Let us know in the comments!

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