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Letter: Schools, students in North Dakota deserve better

The sad part about this legislation is that the North Dakota High School Activity Association already has a policy in place that determines fair placement for trans athletes that is consistent with medical and legal recommendations.

Letter to the editor FSA
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Texas went against Olympic and national college guidelines by forcing high school athletes to compete in sports based solely on birth certificate. This requirement meant that boys, who were assigned female at birth, were forced to compete with girls, and this led to a male winning their female wrestling championship two years in a row.

The name of that wrestler is Mack Beggs, and during the entirety of the time he wrestled, he wanted to wrestle with other boys. He did not want to be in the female division or wrestling against girls, but Texas legislation gave him no other option. North Dakota is looking at making this same mistake with House Bill 1298 .

The sad part about this legislation is that the North Dakota High School Activity Association already has a policy in place that determines fair placement for trans athletes that is consistent with medical and legal recommendations. We’ve never had any problem with trans athletes within North Dakota nor has any other state that includes trans participation. The only time we see problems is with bills like this, that force some boys to compete with girls. Even worse is legislation like this will remove opportunities for some girls to compete on boys teams, when they don't have other options.

It really feels like this legislation is coming from outside of North Dakota, because it doesn’t value the hard work our schools have already done or respect their ability to self govern. It seems so out of touch with our values, hurts so many parents and students, especially girls, and feels twenty years behind the times.

As someone who grew up in North Dakota and currently works with schools to improve outcomes for all students, this is very disappointing. We continue to struggle from the impacts of the pandemic and this is what we are focusing on? Please contact your legislators and tell them their time could be better spent finding more money to divert schools, lunch programs, and directly helping students and staff.

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Faye Seidler, Fargo

Seidler is the LGBTQ+ Care Coordinator for Canopy Medical Clinic in Fargo and does policy outreach through the school systems with the Community Uplift Program, which is also located in Fargo.

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