BREAKING : Florida School Fined for Transgender Student’s Participation in Girls Volleyball Team

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Florida High School Fined and Placed on Probation for Allowing Transgender Student on Girls Volleyball Team

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida, has been fined and placed on probation by the state athletic board after allowing a transgender student to play on the girls volleyball team. The school violated a controversial law enacted by Governor Ron DeSantis and the Legislature.

The Florida High School Athletic Association imposed a fine of $16,500 on Monarch High and ordered the school’s principal and athletic director to attend rules seminars. The suburban Fort Lauderdale school will remain on probation for 11 months, with potential for increased punishments if further violations occur. Additionally, the association prohibited the transgender student from participating in boys sports for the same duration.

The law in question, known as “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” prohibits transgender girls and women from participating in public school teams designated for female athletes at birth.

The 10th-grade transgender student had been playing on the girls volleyball team for the past two seasons, participating in 33 matches. However, she was removed from the team last month after an anonymous tipster informed the Broward County School District about her participation. The student’s removal prompted hundreds of Monarch High students to stage a walkout in protest.

To protect the student’s privacy, the Associated Press has refrained from disclosing her name.

Education Commissioner Manny Diaz commended the swift action taken by the Florida High School Athletic Association, emphasizing the importance of enforcing the law to safeguard girls’ sports. Governor Ron DeSantis, who has made the enactment of this law and similar ones a focal point of his campaign, declined to comment on the ruling as he was campaigning in Iowa for the Republican presidential nomination.

The transgender student’s mother, Jessica Norton, who is also an information technician at Monarch High, expressed her concerns regarding her daughter’s outing, stating that it was a deliberate attempt to endanger her. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ rights organization supporting the family, criticized the ruling, arguing that the law is rooted in anti-transgender bias and denying equal opportunities for student athletes.

According to court documents from a federal suit filed in 2021 challenging the law on behalf of the transgender student, she has identified as female since before elementary school, using a girl’s name since second grade. The student began taking testosterone blockers at the age of 11 and started estrogen at 13 to initiate puberty as a girl. Her birth certificate has also been updated to reflect her gender. Although the lawsuit was dismissed last month, the family has been given until next month to amend it for reconsideration.

Broward County Public Schools acknowledged the association’s ruling and stated that their own investigation is ongoing. The district has the option to appeal within 10 days.

In addition to the fines and probation imposed on Monarch High, the association mandated that Principal James Cecil and Athletic Director Dione Hester attend rules compliance seminars for the next two summers. The school is also required to host an on-campus seminar for other staff members before July.

As the investigation continues, Monarch High temporarily reassigned Cecil, Hester, Norton, and the assistant athletic director. The volleyball coach has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

Norton expressed gratitude for the community’s support and resistance, describing it as inspiring, selfless, and brave. She mentioned that witnessing the community’s display of love has been a source of joy for their family during this challenging time.

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