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Tipsheet

Texas School District Approves Policy Banning Transgender Sport Participation, Preferred Pronouns

AP Photo/Denis Poroy

A school district in North Texas approved a policy on Monday that wipes out the use of “preferred pronouns” for transgender students and prohibits students who identify as transgender from participating in sports. In addition, the school district has barred curriculum from including discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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The Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, located near Dallas, approved the policy in a 4-3 vote on Monday night, according to the New York Post

Going forward, teachers in the district will only refer to students using pronouns that align with their biological sex rather than “gender identity,” even if the student’s parents approve of the child using pronouns that align with their gender identity.

Additionally, students younger than sixth grade will not be allowed to discuss sexual orientation, gender identity and “gender fluidity.” Trans students will be required to play on sports teams and using restrooms and locker rooms that align with their biological sex. 

A grandmother with children who attend the school district told The Texas Tribune that the sports policy was “very important” to her. 

“The policy on the agenda tonight that keeps girls competing against biological girls is very important to me,” the grandmother, whose name was not revealed, said. “I want to make sure that my granddaughters can enjoy the fruits and labor of my generation by participating in fair competitive sports.”

The issue of biological male transgender athletes participating in women’s sports was pushed to the forefront after Will “Lia” Thomas competed on the women’s swim team at University of Pennsylvania this past season. Thomas previously competed on the men’s team for three seasons. Thomas made headlines for breaking records competing against women and taking home an NCAA Division I title at the NCAA championships in March. 

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Several of Thomas’ teammates spoke out about the situation on the condition of anonymity.  One female UPenn swimmer told The Washington Examiner that Thomas “compares herself to Jackie Robinson” and “mocks” competing on the women’s team, as Townhall covered. In addition, a teammate told Daily Mail that Thomas makes the women’s locker room uncomfortable, which Matt covered.

“It’s definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,” the swimmer told Daily Mail. “But we were basically told that we could not ostracize Lia by not having her in the locker room and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that we basically have to roll over and accept it, or we cannot use our own locker room.”

In June, I interviewed Kim Jones, a former all-American tennis player, at an event in Washington, D.C. commemorating the 50th anniversary of Title IX. The event, “Our Bodies, Our Sports” surrounded the future of women’s sports now that biological males are being allowed to compete against women. In our conversation, Jones told me how her daughter competed against Thomas this past season.

"Last year, my daughter had to race Lia Thomas in the Ivy League throughout the year. And what I learned is that women are easily cast aside and told to be quiet when they face an injustice. It's just not the world I'm willing to leave for my granddaughters," Jones said. "Women deserve respect, they deserve fair competition, they deserve equal access to opportunities relative to their male counterparts. I'm passionate about preserving that for the next group of women."

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