A Utah-based high school investigated the records of a first-place student-athlete after parents of 2nd and 3rd-place students assumed she was not assigned female at birth.
The Utah High School Activities Association requested to see the records of the high school girl after she clearly “outclassed” her second- and third-place competitors at a state sporting event. David Spatafore, a lobbyist representing the UHSAA, shared at a Utah Legislature Education Interim Committee meeting.
“The parents of the second- and third-place student[s] filed a complaint that day with our UHSAA, which was governing the activity,” Spatafore said during the meeting, keeping the anonymity of the girl intact.
As a part of their investigation, the association requested the records of the girl to check what her sex was listed as in the school system. The association checked back as far as kindergarten, under the assumption if there was an incongruence that would prove the athlete was transgender.
“The student, to our knowledge, never did know unless the school told them, which is not our responsibility,” Spatafore continued. “If there was a question on any of the school records for this particular student … then we would have gone to the parents. But everything was clear. You know, if a student is registering as a female in kindergarten, that was pretty clear to us.”
Utah governor vetos law to protect transgender students
Spatafore believed the investigation was warranted under the precedent of HB11, which prohibits transgender females from competing in school sports as women. Increasingly, states have actively been passing anti-LGBT acts into law and more specifically, anti-trans legislations. Complaints were supposedly filed against the anonymous athlete because “that female athlete that doesn’t look feminine enough.”
Although HB11 was passed into law by the Utah government, governor Spencer Coz was quick to veto the legislation. At the time, Cox pointed out that there were only four trans students out of 75,000 playing high school sports in the state of Utah. And, only one of those students was a trans female. in his veto, he shared his disdain for the ongoing transphobia within the state.
“Rarely has so much anger been directed at so few,” he wrote. “I don’t understand what they are going through or why they feel the way they do. But I want them to live. And all the research shows that even a little acceptance and connection can reduce suicide significantly.”
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