The Nebraska School Activities Association Board is leaving it's current transgender student participation policy in place.
Board delegates voted 27-23 against changing the policy the board adopted in January. That policy allows high school students to play sports with the gender they identify with. Boys transitioning to girls must have at least one year of hormone therapy before playing in a girls' sport. It also requires transgender students to use private locker rooms or to use the locker room based on their gender at birth. The Catholic Bishops of Nebraska had urged board members to reverse the policy, and require that students compete based on the sex listed on his or her birth certificate.
The Nebraska Family Alliance released a statement saying it is disappointed that the NSAA Assembly rejected the sex at birth bylaw. The group says the NSAA has ignored the leadership of their districts and the voices of thousands of parents, grandparents, students and taxpaying citizens. These Nebraskans are concerned about the current policy that allows some students to participate in athletics and activities without regard to their biological sex. Nebraska Family Alliance Outreach Director Karen Bowling says "every student should be treated with kindness, dignity, and respect. Allowing some students to participate in athletics and activities without regard to biological sex does not solve problems- it creates them." The group says while it's disappointed in the NSAA's vote, it will not be the final word on this issue.
Friday afternoon, Nebraska's three Catholic Bishops issued a statement on the NSAA's decision. The statement reads: We deeply regret that the NSAA Representative Assembly did not approve the "sex on the certificate at birth" proposal.
Any person who experiences gender dysphoria is entitled to the respect that is the right of every human person, as well as genuine concern and the support needed for personal development and well-being. Such support, however, must be provided with due consideration to fairness; the safety, privacy, and rights of all students; and the truth about the human person.
The failure of the delegates' vote to reflect the position of the majority of member schools - including public schools - expressed at the January district meetings is contrary to what one would expect of a "member-driven organization."
The Catholic member schools of the NSAA, through the Nebraska Catholic Conference, will continue to urge the NSAA to rescind the Board of Directors' policy and to require that students participate in NSAA activities according to their sex at birth. Recognizing the truth about each person's biological sex, and basing policies upon that fundamental truth, would serve the best interest of Nebraska's students, families and schools.
Most Reverend George J. Lucas, Archbishop of Omaha
Most Reverend James D. Conley, Bishop of Lincoln
Most Reverend Joseph G. Hanefeldt, Bishop of Grand Island