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Christian high school forfeits basketball tournament over trans player

by Heather Preston

A Christian girls school has dropped out of the state basketball championship after discovering its opponent had a transgender player on its team.

The Mid Vermont Christian School (MVCS) girls' basketball team were set to compete against the Long Trail Mountain Lions in the fourth game of the playoffs last week before forfeiting their place over concerns of "fairness" and "safety".

School Head, Vicky Fogg said the MVCS Eagles withdrew from the Vermont Division IV state tournament because they "believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players".

Fogg told Fox news: "Allowing biological males to participate in women's sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women's sports in general."

Vermont state law does not ban transgender students from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. Discrimination against such athletes is prohibited, while disputes over the participation of students who do not identify with their biological gender in sports teams are taken on a case-by-case basis.

According to the Vermont Agency of Education's best practices, transgender and gender nonconforming students "are to be provided the same opportunities to participate in physical education as are all other students. Generally, students should be permitted to participate in physical education and sports in accordance with the student's gender identity. Participation in competitive athletic activities and sports will be resolved on a case-by-case basis".

MVCS previously wrote to the State Board of Education, raising concerns that parts of its school policy do not align with the academy's religious views.

"As a Christian-based school we have a statutory and constitutional right to make decisions based on our religious beliefs, including those pertaining to marriage and sexuality," Fogg wrote. 

"By signing below United Christian Academy does not waive any such rights. We believe that we have substantially complied with the requirements for approved
independent schools."

Fogg stated that the school "has not included that language in its handbook or online, nor can it affirm that particular aspect of the Vermont Public Accommodations Act".

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