A local school board in Nebraska approved a measure restricting athletic participation to the participant’s biological sex.
The measure initially passed the Kearney Public Schools Board of Education by a 4-2 vote last month and was later affirmed by a second vote, said local KNSB TV News, which also provided a link to the final policy.
Residents who attended the meeting applauded the official approval of the measure, reported the local Kearney Hub.
“Participation in athletics at the 6-12 grade levels will be restricted to a student’s biological sex at birth as stated on the student’s original birth certificate or subsequent court order,” the measure reads. “With that being said, any student (regardless of their birth sex) may participate in any extracurricular activity (including in after-school clubs) that allows both boys and girls to participate.”
Seventeen comments were given during the public comment portion of the meeting, and 15 of those were residents thanking the school board for passing the measure, Fox News reported.
“Thank you for listening to us in Kearney … and affirming the reality that there is a difference between human males and human females,” said Greg Brown, an exercise science professor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, according to the Hub.
Another commenter thanked the school board for being a leader among Nebraska districts, since it is one of the first boards to approve such a measure.
“What you just agreed upon tonight matters. Keeping boys and girls sports separate matters,” Charles Gillespie, a member of the public, said.
One member of the Kearney board, who voted against the new policy, is facing a potential recall election after missing a critical meeting that was considering the measure.
Board member Dave Brandt left a Mar. 6 meeting to attend a child’s recital, as the board listened to 45 public comments regarding the measure. Brandt returned an hour later to vote against the measure, according to the Kearney Hub.
The recall petition says Brandt’s absence during public comments showed disrespect to the public.
Meanwhile, Kearney’s superintendent offered perspective on the previous votes against the measure.
“There isn’t one school board member in Kearney, Nebraska that would ever want to take away an opportunity from a student,” Superintendent Jason Mundorf told Fox News. “My speculation is that our board members who voted against this policy the first time did so because they weren’t necessarily comfortable with being the only school district in the state to adopt a policy that is more restrictive than our state athletic association’s (NSAA) policy.”
Mundorf also said that the policy was likely the best course of action by the school board given the community feedback they heard prior to approving the measure.