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School Denounces ‘Harmful’ Criticism of Transgender Athlete

via NewsNation
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A Massachusetts charter school is allowing a physically larger, trans-identifying male student to play on the girls’ basketball team, despite injuries to three opposing players during a February game.

Video shows the trans player grabbing the ball from a girl and throwing her to the floor.

“We condemn harmful comments being made online toward members of our community, and will continue to let the vision, mission and principles of our organization guide our actions,” school spokesperson Samantha Cooke said.

The opposing coach then forfeited at halftime due to multiple injuries, with players fearing getting hurt before playoffs.

While KIPP Academy supports the trans student’s rights, critics argue the inclusion is unsafe and unfair to girls.

“Once the third was injured, the remaining five expressed concern to him about continuing to play,” the school stated. “The players feared getting injured and not being able to compete in the playoffs.”

Executive Director Carol Rose said the video was “part of a coordinated attempt nationwide to try to remove LGBTQ people from public life.”

KIPP and its executive director defend the policy by citing anti-discrimination laws and a desire to create inclusive schools, though safety remains their top priority.

“To the best of our knowledge, this student has never been on a men’s team at KIPP,” executive director Rhonda “Nikki” Barnes said.

“The vision of KIPP Massachusetts is that every child grows up free to create the future they want for themselves and their communities,” Barnes said. “To do this, we work to create joyful and identity-affirming schools for our students, and prioritize maintaining student and staff safety above everything else.”

“We also support state laws and regulations, which provide students with the right to participate in all school extracurricular activities and sports based on their gender identity or expression,” Barnes said.

The ACLU also backs KIPP’s stance amid a national debate around transgender athletes competing in girls’ sports.

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