Panel approves new rules for transgender student athletes
ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. (AP) — Transgender high school athletes in New Jersey no longer need documentation to support their gender identity.
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association on Wednesday approved a policy that allows athletes to simply notify the school administration if they want to change gender. Previously, they needed a doctor’s note or official documentation.
Association attorney Steve Goodell said a new state law requires that students be allowed to participate in activities corresponding to their gender identities, but the organization didn’t want to wait for the state education department to act.
“We wanted to give our schools firm guidance on how this should happen,” Goodell told the Press of Atlantic City.
He said the organization also had heard from members of the transgender community who didn’t believe students should have to prove their transgender status.
“They really made a convincing case that this is not something the students are making up to try to game the system,” Goodell said.
An appeals process will be available to schools to raise concerns about safety or competitive imbalance.
The association’s executive director, Steve Timko, said the issue of transgender athletes is being grappled with a national level, but he believes his organization has adapted well.
“I think we’ve been very good about keeping up with what’s happening now versus the way it was five or 10 years ago,” he said.