GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — The hot-button issue of transgender athletes participating in sports had made its way to Green Bay.
On Thursday night, Green Bay Area Public School District parents and officials held a private meeting to discuss school board policy, Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association regulations, and Title IX law regarding a transgender student trying out to play on a girls sports team.
For safety reasons, at the request of the school district, we are not naming the school or sport involved in the matter.
Following the meeting, a parent, Ryan Gusick, said his daughters do not plan to participate in the sport this fall.
"I think it really reaffirmed the fact that they're just not going to play," Gusick said. "They're too concerned mostly about the locker room situation in itself, and the safety concern."
Gusick said GBAPS' Title IX attorney spoke to parents and students associated with the team.
He said it was a 15-minute meeting about the rules and regulations the district follows.
"We were told that as long as they meet the procedures in place from the WIAA, the athlete will be participating this fall, and that's how things will go," Gusick said.
GBAPS declined to provide an interview, but a spokesperson sent the following statement to NBC 26:
"The Green Bay Area Public School District cares about the well-being of every student. All decisions regarding a student's ability to participate in co-curricular athletics/activities are made in accordance with Title IX law, Board policy, and WIAA regulations."
The WIAA's transgender participation policy explains the student's member school is the point of contact to determine a transgender student's eligibility to participate in WIAA events.
It states that a male-to-female student needs to have a year of testosterone suppression therapy in order to play on a female team.
Green Bay's Board of Education policy explains that transgender students should not be unlawfully excluded from participating in district-sponsored athletics, and that questions about a student's participation in a sport separated by sex will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
"There was never any concerns before brought up about safety of the other athletes, so this is news to us," Kathy Heath said, a parent of one of the athletes on the team.
Heath and GBAPS alumna Kiana Pamanet said they've known the student involved in this matter for years, and are in support of the student wanting to play.
"They want to see people that give that extra effort, that know are always going to work hard, and know that have that talent in order to play," Pamanet said.