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South Dakota to Consider Bill Banning Transgender Students from Competing Against Opposite Biological Sex

Transgender
AP Photo/Dallas Morning News/Jae S. Lee
WARNER TODD HUSTON

State lawmakers in South Dakota introduced a bill this week that would require students who consider themselves to be transgender, to participate in school sports that correspond to their assigned biological sex, not of the gender they have assumed.

The new bill would rescind current rules adopted by the South Dakota High School Activities Association in 2015 that allows transgender kids to participate in school sports under their assumed sexual choice, instead of their biological gender, the Daily Wire reported.

The bill was introduced Tuesday by Republicans Senator Jim Bolin (Canton) and Representative Thomas Brunner (Nisland).

Sen. Bolin, a former Canton mayor and athletic director of the Canton Public Schools, said his goal was to emulate recent rules in Texas.

“Texas’ University Interscholastic League requires that students participate on sports teams that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate,” Bolin said. “It’s all about fair competition,” he added.

“I just firmly believe that those who are males should play in sports designated for males and those who are females … should play in sports designated for females, according to your birth certificate. It’s about fair competition, and we’re not breaking any new ground.” the sen. said, “This has nothing to do with bathrooms, locker rooms or shower rooms. This has only to do with the eligibility for athletic competition.”

SDHSAA Executive Director Dan Swartos defended the current policy, according to the Argus Leader.

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has made no statement about the bill other than to say she is looking into the proposal.

Transgender “girls” competing against natural-born girls is an especially thorny issue that has riled schools across the country.

In Texas, for instance, Mack Beggs, a student from Euless, Texas, claims to be transitioning from female to male but has been allowed to compete against girls in school wrestling. Perhaps unsurprisingly, and to much criticism, Beggs has easily defeated every female competitor met on the mats.

In another case, a student born a male assuming the identity of a girl has beaten all female contestants in Track & Field competitions in Alaska. And in another incident, a student born male but claiming to be female has consistently beaten all female contestants in track events in a Connecticut high school district.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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