The Alaska state board of education has voted to prevent transgender girls from competing in high school girls’ athletic teams.
The board convened a special session and approved a regulation stating that if a separate high school athletics team is established for female students, participation will be limited to females who were assigned female at birth.
The vote resulted in a 7-1 majority, with the high school representative on the board being the only dissenting vote. The military advisor on the board abstained.
However, the decision is subject to review and final approval by the state attorney general’s office.
This matter was initially taken up by the board in July, but the vote was postponed after extensive testimony and written comments were received.
No public comments were taken during the latest meeting, but it was noted that previous comments were evenly split until a conservative family advocacy group submitted a petition and comments after the deadline, giving a significant advantage to those in favor of the ban.
While the state government administration did not provide a recommendation on whether the proposal should pass, Governor Mike Dunleavy of Alaska’s Republican Party has expressed support for the regulation in order to ensure fairness in girls’ sports.
It’s worth noting that at least 22 states have laws in place that prohibit transgender girls from participating in girls’ teams in K-12 schools. Some of these laws also prohibit transgender boys from playing on boys’ teams, and others extend the ban to college athletics.
The proposal in Alaska is not connected to any legislation, although similar proposals have failed in the state Legislature. One school district, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough district located just north of Anchorage, has already adopted a policy preventing transgender girls from competing in girls’ sports teams.