News (USA)

Mom threatened with firing for letting trans daughter play girls’ volleyball

Volleyball players
Photo: Shutterstock

Jessica Norton’s daughter was highly involved at Monarch High School in Florida. She organized and attended prom, spoke at graduation, and even led senior class traditions.

However, due to a state ban that prohibits female transgender girls from playing on scholastic sports teams, that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed on the first day of Pride in 2021, the daughter has left school and her mom is now facing termination from her job.

Norton’s daughter attended Monarch High School in Broward County Florida, and her mother works as an information specialist at Coconut Creek High School. Last December, Broward County School District began investigating the student allowed to play on Monarch High School’s volleyball team.

As a result, several staff members, including the principal of the school, were reassigned to different positions due to “allegations of improper student participation in sports” according to a statement by school district spokesperson John Sullivan.

“I had to find out in a Sun-Sentinel news article that the Professional Standards Committee recommended that I be suspended for 10 days rather than terminated – but I have been in limbo for more than 200 with the hanging threat of termination,” Norton said during the meeting. “I found out, again in a Sun-Sentinel news article on Friday evening, that my termination had been removed from consideration at this Board meeting. The District has yet to notify me or my attorneys of that decision, why it was made, or what will happen next.”

Norton is the only person who faced termination and spoke out at the school board meeting to challenge her termination, but the item was taken off the meeting’s agenda, she said. The Human Rights Campaign is aiding her in her legal battle. Norton previously sued the state of Florida due to the constitutionality of Florida’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act but a federal judge dismissed the case.

“School administration claims to care about all students but they don’t care about my child,” Norton said. “All of them should be embarrassed that they’re in charge of the lives of children seeing as they had no problem destroying the life of my daughter.”

“My daughter was flourishing at Monarch, I saw the light in her eyes gleam with future plans of organizing and attending prom, participating and leading senior class traditions and speaking at graduation—203 days ago, I watched as that light was extinguished,” she said at the meeting, referring to when her daughter was told about the investigation.

“But you know what, it’s alright if I’m the villain in their story because I am the hero in my daughter’s story,” she added.

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