Florida School Leaders Punished for Accommodating Transgender Student-Athlete

Author: Jacob Ogles

Florida students protested a principal’s reassignment on Tuesday as the school district investigated how a transgender girl was allowed to play on the girl’s volleyball team.

A state law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2021 (on the first day of Pride month) forbids trans girls and women from participating in female sports activities. Earlier this week, the Broward County School District launched an investigation into how a trans student was allowed to play on Monarch High School’s volleyball team in apparent violation of that law, according to The Miami Herald.

“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,” school district spokesperson John Sullivan said in a statement to media.

“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.”

Florida Department of Education communications director Cailey Myers told CNN in a statement that having a trans girl play on the team was “unacceptable.”

“We expect there will be serious consequences for those responsible,” Myers said.

The move came days after a federal judge ruled against the student athlete’s challenge of Florida’s law, saying it violated equal protection rights under the U.S. Constitution. The student was referenced in legal documents only as D.N. and was 13 when the lawsuit was first filed in 2021.

Monarch High School staff reassigned by the district include Principal James Cecil, Assistant Principal Kenneth May, Athletic Director Dionne Hester, information management technician Jessica Norton, and temporary coach Alex Burgess.

The day after the reassignment, dozens of students walked out of class in protest, according to The Associated Press. A number of local news outlets captured video of students leaving class.

A Sun-Sentinel video shows students conducting a “very orderly walkout” during a second day of student protests at the school. The first day saw students waving signs saying: “Trans rights are human rights” and chanting “Let her serve.”

Broward Schools Superintendent Peter Licata told the media in a press conference the district started an investigation after receiving a complaint about the athlete from a community member.

Following the reassignment, many supporters took to social media using the hashtag #freececil.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Jacob Ogles

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