No transgender students have taken advantage of new Neb. athletics policy

No transgender students have taken advantage of new Neb. athletics policy

LINCOLN, Neb. — No students have asked to exercise a policy approved in December by the Nebraska School Activities Association that allows participation in high school athletics by transgender students, the association says.

The policy requires students who want to participate in a sport with members of the opposite sex to prove their gender identity through the testimony of experts, such as psychologists and hormonal experts, the Lincoln Journal Star reported Saturday.

NSAA Executive Director Rhonda Blanford-Green said no such requests have been made.

The association passed the policy in December in anticipation of the issue eventually arising, she said.

“It is a blueprint for identifying and making sure we are not making arbitrary decisions,” she said.

Blanford-Green, who took the helm at the NSAA last July, said she proposed the policy in November because she wanted to establish an equity policy for transgender students before her appearance at a national conference on transgender student participation in sports.

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Under the policy, a student and his or her parent or guardian must make a request to the student’s school. The NSAA only becomes involved if the school denies the request and the student appeals.

The policy allows schools to call on the student, his or her parents or guardians, friends, teachers or health care professionals to submit statements affirming the student’s “consistent gender identification and expression.”

The policy allows the NSAA, should it become involved in an appeal, to also call on health experts and others to establish the student’s gender identity.

The association’s board plans to vote next month to finalize adoption of the policy.

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