Omaha, Neb., Jan 16, 2016 / 12:09 pm
Nebraska’s Catholic bishops have called for the reversal of a new school athletics participation policy that would recognize gender identity, not biological sex, as a standard for student athletes.
The Catholic schools in the Nebraska School Activities Association are dismayed by the association board’s “arbitrary, non-collaborative decision” on the policy vote, the Nebraska Catholic Conference said Jan. 14.
“Member-schools and parents must make every effort to reverse an NSAA board action that compromises fairness, equality, privacy, safety, and respect for Nebraska’s high school students,” said the conference in a statement signed by the state’s three bishops.
The conference said student athletes, parents and member schools of the association are discouraged that the association “ignored their concerns.”
“The board’s decision circumvents the will of the voting members expressed in the democratic process that was recently completed,” the conference added.
The activities association’s membership had voted in district meetings Jan. 6 and 13 to continue to require athlete participation in sports to be based on the sex of a student’s birth certificate. Four of the six districts voted in favor of the 'sex at birth' policy.
However, on Jan. 14 the association’s board voted 6-2 to create a process for students who identify as transgender to take part in sports based on their chosen gender. The process would allow individual school districts to decide on participation, the Lincoln Journal-Star reports.
The board rejected a proposal to table the policy vote until the association’s legislative assembly meets in April.