In 2016, the Nebraska State Activities Association (NSAA) adopted a policy that allows students to participate in athletics and activities without regard to their biological sex. Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the Story: NSAA Gender Participation Policy
In January 2016, the Nebraska State Activities Association (NSAA) passed a policy that allows students to participate in athletics and activities without regard to their biological sex. In the fall of 2015, the NSAA made it clear that they were beginning to explore policies that would address participation in athletics and activities for “transgender” or gender confused students.
Due to general concern about what type of policy the NSAA Board of Directors would choose, member schools of the NSAA decided to introduce several policies that would be preferable alternatives to a policy that ignores safety and privacy concerns of all students.
On January 6th and 13th, the member schools of the NSAA met in their respective districts to vote on proposed policies for the participation of transgender students. Districts 2, 4, 5 and 6 passed a proposal called the “At Birth” Proposal. This proposal would require students to participate in athletics and activities based on their sex identified “at birth.” This proposal is scheduled to go for a final vote at the NSAA Representative Assembly on April 8th.
Despite the support for the “At Birth” Proposal, the NSAA Board of Directors, who represent the member schools from the respective districts, voted at their meeting on January 14th by a margin of 6 – 2 to adopt the Gender Participation Policy (GPP).
The GPP has gone into effect and allows students who can demonstrate a “consistent” gender identity opposite from the sex on their original birth certificate to participate in NSAA sports according to their gender preference.
Although the NSAA as an organization prides itself on being “member-driven,” one member representing District 2 and other members representing Districts 5 and 6 voted contrary to the position expressed by a majority of their member schools.
The NSAA leadership and their board representatives went to great lengths to convince the member schools to oppose the “sex at birth” proposal and thereby to give the Board the green light to adopt the GPP. A solid majority of member schools in Districts 2, 4, 5, and 6 rejected the GPP by voting for the “sex at birth” proposal at their district meetings.
Across the country, schools are considering and adopting similar types of policies that compromise student safety and privacy. NFA is closely following this issue.