An all-girls high school has been banned from future events and tournaments after it lost a game to a team with a transgender student athlete.
Vermont Girls High School, withdrew from the basketball tournament last month after refusing to play against a team that included a transgender player, can no longer participate in future Vermont Chiefs Association (VPA) events and tournaments, the group said in a statement. news release Monday.
VPA, the state’s governing body for high school sports, sent letter to Middle Vermont Christian School (MVCS) on Monday, saying the school’s forfeiture and the justification for the forfeiture “fell short of expectations” of the organization’s policy after the MVCS seized the game on Feb. 21.
“Therefore, Middle Vermont Christian School is not eligible to participate in future VPA events,” the post reads. letter said.
In a statement on Tuesday, MVCS said it plans to appeal the decision.
“Middle Vermont Christian School is disappointed by the decision of the VPA Executive Board to ban us from all VPA activities. We intend to appeal this decision,” MVCS Principal Vicki Fogg wrote in an email. “Canceling our membership is not a solution and does nothing to address the very real safety and fairness issue facing women’s sports in our beloved state. We urge the VPA to review its policies and balance the rights of every athlete in the state.”
A report for 2017 in the journal Sports Medicine, which reviewed several related studies, found no “direct or consistent studies” that transgender people have an athletic advantage over their cisgender peers, and critics say that recent surge in anti-trans rhetoric and legislation exacerbates the discrimination faced by trans people, especially trans youth.
The VPA said its executive board held a meeting on Monday to discuss the confiscated game and came to an “immediate decision to disqualify Mid Vermont Christian from future VPA-sanctioned events and tournaments.” The press release cites a VPA letter sent to MVCS.
MVCS was scheduled to play against Long Trail last month, but MVCS was ineligible for the game due to Long Trail’s transgender player, MVCS head of school, Fogg. previously told CNN.
“We withdrew from the tournament because we believe that playing against a biological male opponent compromises the integrity of the game and the safety of our players,” Fogg said in a statement earlier. “Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”
CNN has repeatedly reached out to Long Trail for comment.
In its Monday release, the VPA said it “reaffirms its continued support for transgender student-athletes not only as part of building an inclusive community for every student to grow and prosper, but as a clear expectation of Vermont law(s) in the Educational Excellence Agency.” and the VPA Policy on Transgender Student Athletes.”