Broward Principal Reassigned After Trans Athlete Allowed on Girls’ Sports Team

A Broward County principal and several top school staff were reassigned Monday amid an investigation into a transgender student’s participation on the school’s girl’s volleyball team. Broward County School District officials have not yet confirmed any details but said the investigation arose due to “allegations of improper student participation in sports.” It is currently against Florida state law for biological males to participate in women’s sports.

Monarch High School principal James Cecil, assistant principal Kenneth May, athletic director Dione Hester, and volleyball coach Jessica Norton have since been moved to “non-school” assignments, according to a statement by the district published by 7 News Miami.

“The principal of Monarch High School and several staff members have been reassigned to non-school sites pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of improper student participation in sports. Although we cannot comment further, we will continue to follow state law and will take appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigation. We are committed to providing all our students with a safe and inclusive learning environment.” ~ John J. Sullivan, Chief Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer of Broward County Public Schools

The ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act possibly spurred the investigation, which prohibits biological males from participating in women’s sports. The bill, SB 1028, was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis in June of 2021.

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At the time that SB 1028 was signed into law, the Governor’s office cited “multiple polls” stating that over 60 percent of Americans believe that biological males should not participate in girls’ sports. According to the report by 7 News Miami, however, students at the high school appeared more divided on the issue.

“I don’t think it should be a problem big enough for you to have the school’s principal reassigned,” one student reportedly said. “At the end of the day, that’s just an extracurricular.”

Another student disagreed,

“I don’t agree with that. He shouldn’t be allowed to play on the team … If he’s a biological boy, I don’t think he should play on the team.”

WPLG 10 reported that parents were equally divided. At least one parent criticized the district, saying, “Everybody’s human.” However, another parent defended the decision by saying, “No, no, no. That’s not a girl. That’s a boy,”

“It’s not fair, because he, in his birth certificate, it doesn’t say ‘trans,’ it either says a male or a female,” one student said, according to the report. “And if he can’t play on the team, that means he can’t play on the team.”

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Broward County Public Schools board member Torey Alston said, “The investigation will follow the facts, and if it is revealed that state law is in question, I could tell you, we will follow state law.”

Under the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, women’s sports teams are designated only for students whose birth certificates list ‘female’ at birth. Students of the male sex who claim a different gender are prohibited from women’s sports teams.

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