Oklahoma state schools have begun requiring students from kindergarten to college to complete “biological sexual statements” if they want to participate in school sports, in accordance with a state law that went into effect earlier this year.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill in March that would ban transgender student athletes in public elementary, middle, high schools and colleges from participating in the sports teams of their gender identity as opposed to their gender assigned at birth.
A photo of an affidavit required by Woodall Public Schools went viral Wednesday after Erin Matson, executive director of abortion rights group Reproaction, shared it on Twitter.
“This has nothing to do with encouraging girls to become athletes,” Matson wrote. “This is totalitarianism. It’s the white nationalist agenda. The anti-LGBTQ agenda. The anti-abortion agenda. It’s all the same agenda.”
The document, which is part of Woodall Public Schools Athletics Policy 2022-2023requires a parent or guardian to attest to the gender of their child assigned at birth and requires it to be endorsed by a notary.
The address on the affidavit matches Woodall Elementary School in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, about an hour southeast of Tulsa.
Ginger Knight, Superintendent of Woodall Public Schools, confirmed via email that the district is required by state law for students to complete the form if they wish to participate in athletics, but Knight had no additional comment.
After the governor signed the bill in March, Oklahoma was the 13th state in the entire country to pass such a bill. Now 18 states have taken similar measures.
Almost all of those states designate sports teams based on the gender assigned at birth, as determined by the student’s birth certificate issued at or near the time of their birth.
Oklahoma is the only state to date that requires an affidavit to prove a student’s assigned gender. If a student is under the age of 18, the affidavit can be completed by a legal guardian or parent. Once a student turns 18, he must sign the affidavit himself. The law requires that a new affidavit be completed for each school year.
Two other states may require an affidavit or affidavits in some cases.
In KentuckyFor example, a student’s assigned gender can be determined by their “original, unedited birth certificate” or by an affidavit “signed and sworn by the physician, physician assistant, licensed nurse, or chiropractor under penalty of perjury.”
below Idaho‘s law, which a judge blocked in August 2020, can dispute a student’s gender. If that happens, the school may request the student to submit a form from their health care provider to “verify the student’s biological sex…reproductive anatomy, genetic makeup, or normal endogenously produced testosterone levels of the student.”
Proponents of the ban on trans athletes claim they contribute to fairness for cisgender female athletes, while advocates of LGBTQ rights say the measures violate the civil rights of transgender people.
Some LGBTQ people on Twitter condemned Woodall Public Schools’ affidavits.
“With a notary requirement – this is NOT JUST incredibly transphobic, but will have the impact of preventing children of lower socioeconomic status from participating,” one person wrote.
Another person wrote that requiring “notarized affidavits attesting to the genital makeup of individual elementary school students is a disgusting invasion of privacy and is predatory and discriminatory.”
The Department of Education issued guidelines last year stating it will interpret Title IX, a federal law protecting students from gender discrimination in government-funded schools, to protect LGBTQ students from discrimination.
At the time, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told ESPN he understands the concerns about fairness in sports, “but we do have a responsibility to protect the civil rights of students, and if we find that civil rights are being violated, we will act.”
The Biden administration’s Title IX directive has been put on hold after a federal judge in Tennessee blocked it earlier this month, ruling that it would be impossible for some states to enact their own laws on transgender athlete participation and use. of toilets.
Jay Valle and Zachary Schermele contributed.