A Vermont Christian school has forfeited a state championship tournament to their opponent after learning a student identifying as transgender would play on the girls’ basketball team.
Last Tuesday, Mid Vermont Christian School (MVCS) girls’ basketball team, the Eagles, were scheduled to face the Long Trail Mountain Lions in the playoffs fourth game.
MVCS lost their placement in the tournament following their decision to forfeit the game.
“We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players,” head of MVCS Vicky Fogg wrote in a statement to Fox News Digital, arguing against biological males competing in women’s sports.
“Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”
Christian school forfeits playoff game against team with trans student: 'Jeopardizes fairness' https://t.co/RTLY0u93Z0
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 28, 2023
“The Eagles’ forfeit sent Long Trail to the quarterfinals Friday against No. 4 seed Arlington,” local outlet Valley News reported.
Assistant executive director for the Vermont Principal’s Association Lauren Thomas said MVCS previously revealed the team would not participate in the tournament in a letter.
“I have received calls (from schools) asking for best practices and how to go forward knowing they were going to play a team with a transgender female on it,” Thomas said. “We just supported our stance and our best practices through our inclusivity statement.”
Students are protected from discrimination based on gender identity according to Vermont state law.
“Transgender and gender nonconforming students are to be provided the same opportunities to participate in physical education as are all other students,” reads the Vermont Agency of Education’s best practices. “Generally, students should be permitted to participate in physical education and sports in accordance with the student’s gender identity. Participation in competitive athletic activities and sports will be resolved on a case-by-case basis.”
Transgender identifying students are not required to use bathrooms or locker rooms “that conflicts with the student’s gender identity.”
“As a religious organization, the school has a statutory and constitutional right to make decisions based on its religious beliefs, including hiring and disciplining employees, associating with others, and in its admissions, conduct and operations policies and procedures,” Fogg wrote in the Jan. 5 letter to the state Agency of Education seeking permission to receive public tuition funding while also asserting that it reserved the right not to follow all of Vermont’s anti-discrimination laws, per Valley News.
“By signing this form, the Mid Vermont Christian School does not waive any such rights,” Fogg’s email continued. “To the extent state laws conflict with the school’s beliefs, including on marriage and sexuality, the school has not included that language in its handbook or online, nor can it affirm that particular aspect of the Vermont Public Accommodations Act.”