Aug 20, 2022 - Politics & Policy

School investigates if athlete is transgender, without her knowledge, after complaints

A group of attendees listen to a speaker in Orlando.
A group of attendees listen to a speaker. Photo: Lizzie Heintz/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A Utah school recently investigated a high school athlete after parents said that she might be transgender following her win in a recent competition.

Driving the news: The student took first place in a contest “by a wide margin,” David Spatafore, a spokesperson for the Utah High School Activities Association, told the Salt Lake Tribune.

  • The parents of the second- and third-place finishers filed a complaint afterward, leading to the investigation.
  • “The school went back to kindergarten, and she’d always been a female," Spatafore said.
  • UHSAA did not reveal the child's name, school or the competition in question in order to protect her identity.

The big picture: The association often receives complaints “when an athlete doesn’t look feminine enough," Spatafore said, adding that the group will conduct a review of each one.

  • He said he wanted to use the example to show lawmakers that the association responds to complaints about transgender athletes.
  • UHSAA plans to enforce Utah's law that banned transgender girls from competing in school sports that match their gender identity, Spatafore said.

Yes, but: A Utah judge recently blocked the state's controversial law, Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.

  • "The ban singles out transgender girls and categorically bars them from competing on girls' sports teams. At the same time, other girls are free to compete. This is plainly unfavorable treatment," judge Keith Kelly wrote in the injunction.

What's next: The block is only temporary and could come back if a challenge rules in the defendant's favor in the future.

  • A hearing scheduled for this coming Tuesday could set dates for a trial over the ban, per the Deseret News.

Go deeper: Judge temporarily blocks Utah's transgender athlete ban

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