Today, the Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development (“the Board”) approved a proposal that violates the privacy and equal protection rights of students across Alaska. The Board adopted a regulation prohibiting transgender girls from participating on girls’ teams in Alaska scholastic sports. Despite public opposition to the unconstitutional and harmful proposal, the Board voted 7-1, with one member abstaining to vote. 

“The decision to approve this proposal is a direct attack on Alaskan students who simply want to play sports, like any other kid,” said Michael Garvey, Advocacy Director for the ACLU of Alaska. “The Board has totally disregarded the ways this policy violates the privacy of young Alaskans, and sanctions wholesale discrimination against transgender children. The Board failed to recognize that Alaska’s constitutional rights, including equal protection under the law, apply to every single one of us, no matter our gender identity.” 

In June, the Board issued a proposal to limit participation in girls’ athletic teams to "females who were assigned female at birth.” During the 30-day public comment period, hundreds of Alaskans submitted comments opposing this proposal. In addition, during the Board’s July public hearing, almost three-quarters of the people who testified spoke against the proposal. Despite the strong public opposition to this proposal, the Board passed this discriminatory policy on Thursday.  

“The ACLU of Alaska is committed to protecting the constitutional rights of all Alaskans,” said Mara Kimmel, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alaska. “Banning female students from high school sports because of gender identity violates fundamental rights of equality and privacy. It excludes and marginalizes our kids and is the exact opposite of what our schools should be teaching – that all of us belong and all of us matter.”  

The ACLU of Alaska will continue to advocate and fight for the constitutional rights of trans students and student athletes across Alaska.