Sport Law Discussion Questions
- Transgender Policies for Athletics Programs
The development of fair, practical and legally sufficient policies regarding the inclusion of transgender athletes in school sports activities is one of the latest civil rights challenges facing educational institutions. In April 2014, the OCR issued an updated policy guidance clarifying that the civil rights guarantees in Title IX extend to all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The inclusion of transgender students in the new guidance reflects evolving legal standards nationwide, both through laws enacted by state legislatures and via policies implemented by state associations.
Currently, 33 state associations have adopted formal policies setting forth anti-discrimination directives regarding transgender student-athletes and guidelines governing their participation in school athletics programs. School personnel seeking guidance on the issue might consult a 2010 position paper titled On The Team: Equal Opportunity for Transgender Student-Athletes that was endorsed by the NFHS and NCAA. The 57-page document, available full-text at www.nclrights.org, sets forth detailed recommendations for policy development; protection of the privacy, safety and dignity of transgender student-athletes; and best practices for schools, athletic administrators and coaches.