March 22, 2023 12:13 am

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska board of education has unanimously authorized a resolution that urges the state to limit the participation of transgender girls in girls college sports.

The resolution passed Thursday urges the Alaska Division of Education and Early Improvement to produce two sports divisions, one particular for athletes whose sex assigned at birth is female and the other for students of all genders, the Anchorage Each day News reported.

The resolution was added final-minute to the board’s agenda at the finish of a 3-day meeting in Juneau. It had unanimous help from the eight members, with the student adviser abstaining.

Billy Strickland, the director of the Alaska College Activities Association, mentioned the resolution closely matches what members of Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration discussed with him previously. He mentioned they wanted to produce 3 divisions: boys, girls and one particular co-ed division that would enable transgender athletes.

Strickland mentioned there are not adequate transgender athletes in Alaska to accommodate a third division. In truth, he mentioned he was only conscious of one particular transgender athlete in the nine years he has led the association.

A statement emailed from Dunleavy’s workplace Friday mentioned girls playing in single-sex leagues ought to be playing against other girls.

“If a particular person who was born a male but feels out of location playing a sport in a league with boys only due to their gender identity, the resolution is not to enable them to compete against girls, but to enhance co-ed possibilities,” the statement mentioned. ”It’s time to seriously take into account co-ed interscholastic sports so that all students can compete at their highest level.”

Only the Matanuska-Susitna Borough College Board in Alaska has restricted the participation of transgender athletes, Strickland mentioned. College boards or districts set their policy, and most have not addressed the problem. Girls currently regularly play alongside boys on some football or hockey teams.

A message searching for a copy of the resolution from the state board was not right away returned Friday to The Linked Press. But a copy obtained by the Anchorage newspaper urged the activities association to defend “the integrity of higher college girls’ sports.”

“We’re producing a statement of maintaining girls’ sports secure and competitive and fair, that is all,” board chair James Fields told the Each day News.

State Sen. Löki Tobin, an Anchorage Democrat who chairs the Senate Education Committee, mentioned she was concerned the board violated its requirement to enable the public to weigh in on resolutions just before a vote. She also expressed issues the resolution could violate the suitable to privacy clause of the Alaska Constitution.

The Legislature can revoke proposed regulations for any state division.

“I am concerned mostly due to the fact I am the chair of the state policy committee for education in the Senate,” mentioned Tobin. “I am concerned that the approach just was not followed, and that we weren’t in a position to offer our public comment on this problem.”

Dunleavy earlier this month proposed a bill that would need students to use bathrooms and locker rooms according to their sex assigned at birth, the newspaper reported. It would also need parental approval for students to alter their name or pronouns they use in college. The Legislature has not voted on the bill.

A different bill that would reserve sports divisions for boys and girls and produce a separate co-education division also has not been heard.

The Alaska state Senate has a bipartisan majority and has mentioned it would steer clear this session of divisive troubles, which includes these pertaining to LGBTQ+ folks.