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Transgender Student Athlete Bill Faces More Opposition

a photo of a youthful soccer player
Opponents of legislation regarding transgender athletes say it's an issue agencies, including the Ohio High School Athletic Association, have already addressed.

The bill that would ban transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports at the high school and college level, which is widely opposed by Democrats, is facing more opposition. This comes just hours after Ohio House Republicans attached the legislation as an amendment to an unrelated and popular bill and passed it.

Melissa Cropper with the Ohio Federation of Teachers says by denying them participation in sports, the bill would hurt transgender students, many of whom already face bullying and emotional turmoil. She says it makes it tough for teachers to guide students through difficult situations. Plus, she says it’s not needed. 

“The Ohio High School Athletic Association dealt with this issue maybe a decade or so ago, so the legislature is creating a solution to a problem that doesn’t even exist," Cropper says.

Gov. Mike DeWine statement on SB 187
Credit Gov. Mike DeWine's office
Gov. Mike DeWine statement on SB 187

In a written statement, Gov. Mike DeWine said the issue is best addressed outside of government through agencies like the OHSAA that can tailor policies to meet the needs of athletes and member institutions. Eleven transgender females have been approved to compete by the OHSAA in the last six years.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles
Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.