MSHSL approves transgender policy

School districts throughout Minnesota now have a procedure to follow when a student wants to play sports on a team with a different gender identity "from the student's gender identity assigned at birth."

That verbiage comes from the transgender policy approved by the Minnesota State High School League during a meeting today.

See also: Child Protection League stands by photo used in controversial anti-trans ad

According to that policy, in order for a student who was assigned a male gender identification at birth to play for a female team, that student must provide MSHSL officials with a written statement from the student's parents or guardians affirming their gender identification, and "a written statement from an appropriate health-care professional... that verifies the existence of the student's consistent and uniform gender-related identity or sincerely held gender-related identity."

MSHSL officials will then appoint an "Independent Hearing Officer" to review that information. The hearing officer's recommendation will ultimately be reviewed by the MSHSL board during its next regularly scheduled meeting.

"If the Independent Hearing Officer affirms the eligibility of the [male to female] student, the student will be eligible to participate in MSHSL activities consistent with the student's gender identification for the balance of the student's high school eligibility," the policy says.

Religiously affiliated non-public schools are exempt.

The policy was approved after about an hour of discussion. During a comment period before the vote, roughly an equal number of people spoke for and against the proposal.

The transgender policy goes into effect at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year. You can read the whole thing here.