The Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development on Thursday approved a resolution that would prevent trans girls from participating in nearly all scholastic sports for girls in the state, according to Alaska Public Media.
The resolution, officially known as Resolution 02-2023, states its purpose is to preserve the “integrity of middle and high school girls’ sports” while ensuring “competitive fairness, inclusion, and safety” for all student-athletes.
“I’m not convinced that there isn’t a potential safety issue, or I am convinced there is a physiological difference for sure,” board member Jeff Erickson said at Thursday’s hearing. “I think there’s some unfairness. I think the federal law at present protects women’s sports.”
However, local advocacy groups and the board’s student advisor objected to its passage, calling it an attack on the rights of trans students.
“The decision to approve this proposal is a direct attack on Alaskan students who simply want to play sports, like any other kid,” Michael Garvey, advocacy director for the ACLU of Alaska, said in a statement. “The Board has totally disregarded the ways this policy violates the privacy of young Alaskans, and sanctions wholesale discrimination against transgender children.”
The resolution would apply to schools competing within the Alaska School Activities Association (ASAA). The only sports not regulated by the ASAA are downhill skiing and the Native Youth Olympics.
The vote in support of the resolution was 7-0. Student representative Felix Myers cast a symbolic vote in opposition.
“It doesn’t seem like this is a problem that we need to fix currently,” Myers said.
Military advisor Lt. Col. James Fowley abstained from the vote.
The resolution was adopted in March and the board was accepting public comment through June. In July, the board postponed a vote on the resolution. The resolution now goes to Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor to determine if it goes into effect.