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MSHSL to vote on transgender policy today; more changes mulled

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The Minnesota State High School League will discuss and likely vote on a draft of a proposed policy for student-athletes who identify as transgender at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, after more changes were made to the draft.

During a workshop Wednesday, board members again discussed modifying the proposed guidelines that would allow student-athletes to play for the team that matches the gender they identify with.

The board also contemplated allowing school districts to make the decision whether or not they'd adopt the transgender policy guidelines, Paul Klauda tweeted.

This possible tweak had some school board members (who also serve on the MSHSL board) concerned about different districts' approaches to handling transgender student-athletes, the Star Tribune reports.

Critics of the new policy want to simplify the issue, FOX 9 says.

Autumn Leava of the Minnesota Family Council said the policy should read, "For the purpose of league activity...a student's sex is their birth sex and students play on teams based on their birth sex with the exception that already exists in state law for girls," the news station notes.

State law already allows girls to play on boys teams.

Initial discussions

The transgender policy proposal had not drawn much public attention until a full-page ad paid for by Mankato-based Child Protection League showed up in the Star Tribune earlier this fall. Since the debate became public, the MSHSL has heard testimony from dozens of people and received thousands of emails regarding the policy.

The MSHSL was scheduled to vote on the policy in October, but it decided to hold off until its December meeting so board members could have more time to study the policy to make sure they get it right.

The Child Protection League published another full-page ad in the Star Tribune Sunday.

This policy would be a first for Minnesota, but 32 other states and the NCAA all have some type of policy or procedure for determining transgender students’ eligibility to participate in sports, reports say.

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