GIFFORD — At a special meeting Tuesday, the Gifford school board rejected an amendment to the school’s code that would have required transgender students to participate in sports based on their biological sex rather than their gender identity.

The amendment, which was rejected by a vote of 5-2, concerned the school handbook’s section on equal opportunity and sex equity, which states that “equal educational and extracurricular opportunities must be available to all students regardless of race, color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, status as homeless, immigration status, order of protection status or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy.”

A member of the school’s cheerleading squad is transgender.

Several parents at the meeting raised concerns about the policy, with one saying it was not appropriate for boys to be competing against girls or for them to share bathrooms.

Another said the school needs “to hold up the value of decency” and ensure that girls are safe and should not have to share the same locker rooms or bathrooms with boys.

Others representing LGBTQ groups, however, said transgender students should not be punished for their identity and that changing the policy would be in violation of the law.

Our County Editor

Dave Hinton is editor of The News-Gazette's Our County section and former editor of the Rantoul Press. He can be reached at dhinton@news-gazette.com.

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