A policy regarding transgender students' participation in school activities will go to the Nebraska School Activities Association's board of control for a vote in late August, the head of the organization said Tuesday.
Rhonda Green-Blanford, the association's executive director, last week told The World-Herald that the policy had been unanimously approved by the board in December, although it did not appear in the meeting's minutes.
She said at the time that the policy was official and was published on the association's website but that it would come back for another vote next month to ensure that it was placed in official meeting records.
On Tuesday, Blanford-Green said that a formal vote would be taken on the policy at the board's Aug. 21 meeting. A press release attributed to Blanford-Green and posted on the association's website says:
“Placing the proposal on the August board agenda as an action item will eliminate any confusion on the transparency of the association or myself to formally address procedures for transgender participation within our board procedures.”
Blanford-Green declined to comment further.
Bob Reznicek, the board's chairman, said Tuesday that the board discussed the topic in December but did not take a formal vote.
“It was our understanding that the policy would come forward sometime in a subsequent board meeting for an action item,” said Reznicek, Boys Town's superintendent of schools.
He said there was some confusion about whether the policy should be placed on the July or August meeting agenda.
“It's unfortunate that there has been some confusion, but Ms. Blanford-Green has been trying to be honest with the media and keep them abreast of the situation,” he said. “To me this clarifies the situation and a vote will be taken in August.”
So far, no schools had tried to use the process that would allow a transgender athlete to participate on an sports team of the gender with which he or she identifies, so long as the student meets certain criteria.
Blanford-Green proposed the new policy in November, four months after she left a similar job in Colorado to move to Nebraska. The Nebraska policy is modeled after those that have been in place in Colorado for several years. That state's plan was adapted from policies used by the NCAA and the International Olympic Committee.
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