A private Christian school in Vermont has been banned from future state-run sporting events after refusing to participate in a girls’ basketball tournament in which a member of an opposing team was transgender.
On Feb. 20, Mid-Vermont Christian School (MVCS) opted to forfeit a play-off girls’ basketball game rather than compete against a transgender athlete on the opposing team. “We believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players. Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general,” school administrator Vicky Fogg said at the time, according to Valley News.
A Vermont religious school that withdrew its girls’ basketball team from a playoff game because a transgender student was playing on the opposing team won’t be able to participate in future tournaments, the Vermont Principals’ Association announced Monday. https://t.co/mGMnUQSKLC
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) March 14, 2023
That decision, and the rationale behind it, did not sit well with the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA), the governing body for high school sports in the state. On March 13, the VPA informed MCVS in a letter that for choosing to forfeit the basketball game due to the presence of a transgender athlete on the opposing team, the school would be banned from further state-run activities and athletic competitions. (RELATED: ‘Fair And Safe Competition’: How One Legal Group Is Leading The Charge To Protect Women’s Sports)
“Specifically the school’s actions do not meet the expectations of the VPA’s 1st and 2nd policy, Commitment to Racial, Gender Fair and Disability Awareness and Policy Of Gender Identity, respectively. Thus, Mid-Vermont Christian School is ineligible to participate in VPA activities going forward,” the letter read.
“The result was a determination that policies have been violated at the school level, thus there is an immediate determination of ineligibility for Mid-Vermont Christian in VPA sanctioned activities and tournaments going forward,” the VPA wrote in a corresponding press release cited by Valley News.
Jay Nichols, the executive director of the VPA, told the Vermont Digger that the organization’s decision to ban MCVS was unanimous. “If you don’t want to follow VPA rules, that’s fine,” Nichols told the outlet. “But then you’re just not a VPA member. It’s fairly simple. That’s really all we’re gonna really say about it.”
Nichols added that he could not remember any previous instances in which a school had been banned from events, so he could not elaborate on any existing appeals process. He also said that any decision to readmit the school would have to come from the executive council, according to the Digger
Fogg told the Daily Caller MCVS was “disappointed” with the VPA Executive Council’s decision and indicated the school intends to appeal the ruling.
“Cancelling our membership is not a solution and does nothing to deal with the very real issue of safety and fairness facing women’s sports in our beloved state. We urge the VPA to reconsider its policies, and balance the rights of every athlete in the state,” Fogg concluded.