Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Transgender Statement
Iowa Code Section 216.9 clearly delineates unfair practices and discriminatory acts in education by stating in relevant part:
1. It is an unfair or discriminatory practice for any educational institution to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability in any program or Such discrimination practices shall include but not be limited to the following practices:
a.Exclusion of a person or persons from participation in, denial of the benefits of, or subjection to discrimination in any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other program or activity except athletic programs;
b. Denial of comparable opportunity in intramural and interscholastic programs;
c. Discrimination among persons in employment and the conditions of employment;
d. On the basis of sex, the application of any rule concerning the actual or potential parental, family, or marital status of a person, or the exclusion of any person from any program or activity or employment because of pregnancy or related conditions dependent upon the physician’s diagnosis and
2. For the purpose of this section, “educational institution” includes any preschool, elementary, or secondary schools, community college, area education agency, or postsecondary college or university and their governing boards. This section does not prohibit an educational institution from maintaining separate toilet facilities, locker rooms, or living facilities for the different sexes so long as comparable facilities are Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting any bona fide religious institution from imposing qualifications based on religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity when such qualifications are related to a bona fide religious purpose or any institution from admitting students of only one sex.
Iowa Code Section 216.2 clearly defines “gender identity” as “gender-related identity of a person, regardless of a person’s assigned sex at birth.”
Being fully aware of the unfair and discriminatory practices and definition of “gender identity”, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union presents suggestions for abiding by the Code of Iowa in regards to transgender student-athletes.
Suggestions for Inclusion and Respectful Treatment of Transgender Student-Athletes
The transgender student at an Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union member school who identifies as a female despite having been born with male genitals, shall be allowed to fully compete as a female as long as she consistently identifies as a female at school, home, and socially----subject to item “a”.
Communications and Publications: Pronouns and Name Changes
The preference for the use of feminine or gender-neutral pronouns should be the choice of the student-athlete. Coaches, administrators, and athletes should abide by a transgender student- athlete’s name and pronoun preferences, demonstrating respect for the individual and validating the transgender student-athlete’s gender identity and expression.
Access to Locker Rooms and Bathrooms
Every student-athlete should have access to a locker room, bathroom, and shower facilities in a safe, comfortable, and convenient environment.
When the transgender student-athlete uses a separate locker room space, it is recommended to not use the common locker room as a team meeting space or the only location that important team information is shared. Coaches and team members are strongly encouraged to identify other spaces to conduct team meetings.
When member schools are playing in facilities other than at their home school, the school representatives of the student-athlete should identify safe spaces for transgender student-athletes to have their needs met with regard to changing clothes, restroom accommodations, and meeting spaces.
If a member school requires overnight accommodations, all student-athletes should be assigned rooming accommodations based upon a safe, comfortable, and convenient environment.
Apparel and Dress Codes
All team members should have access to uniforms that are appropriate for their sport. Participants are expected to be in compliance with the uniform regulations of the National Federation of High School Associations.
In cases where the coaches of member schools set dress codes or expectations, coaches are recommended to set a gender-neutral dress code that is comfortable for all members of the team.
The privacy of transgender student-athletes is a priority for member schools and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. All medical information must be kept confidential.
Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s Authority:
The IGHSAU will not make decisions or offer input into specific situations occurring at local school districts. All authority and obligation to abide by and implement Iowa Code Chapter 216 with respect to transgender student-athletes will remain with the local school district. Eligibility of a transgender student-athlete will be presumed. However, if there arises at the local level a documented eligibility controversy, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union shall have the authority under the applicable Iowa Administrative Code to determine eligibility.