FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2016
LINCOLN, Neb – The ACLU of Nebraska has informed the Nebraska School Activities Association that moving forward with a proposed policy on transgender student athletes puts the NSAA and schools at legal risk as well as at risk of losing federal school funding. The ACLU had previously issued guidance to the NSAA and all schools on the matter. The currently drafted policy will be voted on at an NSAA board meeting this Thursday.
“Transgender students know on a deep level who they are. The only hoops that students should be asked to jump through are on the playing field,” said ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad. “The policy proposed by the NSAA has numerous barriers to participation for transgender Nebraskans – not the least of which is the cumbersome and costly birth certificate process. In addition to being legally suspect, the currently drafted policy is disrespectful to students who simply want the opportunity to participate in sports. Should the policy pass, the ACLU encourages any transgender student who is denied the opportunity to play sports to contact our office.”
The ACLU acknowledges that many Nebraskans have questions about what it means to be transgender but says that education, not restrictive policies, is the best response.
“We encourage Nebraskans who want to learn more about their transgender neighbors to visit our Transgender Voices project on our website,” said Conrad. “We feature stories of veterans, farmers, small business owners, young professionals – Nebraskans from many walks of life who contribute to our economy and community. Before making a decision about such policies, Nebraskans should take a moment to meet these outstanding Cornhuskers who happen to be transgender.”