The Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) will keep a policy in place that allows each school to determine a transgender student’s eligibility to play sports.
The NSAA’s representative assembly failed to approve a change that would require a student to participate based on the gender listed on their original birth certificate.
Greg Schleppenbach, Nebraska Catholic Conference executive director, says he is disappointed by the decision.
“Any person who experiences gender dysphoria is entitled to the respect that is the right of every human person as well as genuine concern and the support needed for personal development and wellbeing,” Schleppenback tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Such support, however, must be provided with due consideration to fairness, the safety, privacy, and rights of all students, and the truth about the human person.”
Under the policy now in place, male-to-female transgender students must provide documentation of at least a year of hormone therapy, and transgender students will be required to use private bathrooms and locker rooms or those that match their biological gender.
Dr. Jim Tenopir, NSAA executive director, says a lot of thought and consideration was put into the existing rule.
“The NSAA board policy for gender participation was based upon three basic tenets,” Tenopir tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Number one is competitive equity. The second tenet that we built that on was safety. The third tenet was that of personal privacy. With that in mind, certainly, the board policy addressed a lot of the key issues.”
Schleppenbach says the issue is not over yet.
“Catholic member schools of the NSAA, through the Nebraska Catholic Conference, will continue to urge the NSAA to rescind the board of directors’ policy and require that students participate in NSAA activities according to their sex at birth,” he says.
“Outside groups, and I know that there were outside groups that worked really hard to try to get the birth certificate at-birth (policy) passed, but quite frankly it has to come through the membership and the membership has to be able to address those,” Tenopir says.