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Tags: employee | school | firing | transgender | volleyball

Trans Daughter's Sports Team Inclusion Might Cost Fla. Woman Her Job

By    |   Thursday, 20 June 2024 07:14 PM EDT

A Florida school district employee is on the brink of losing her job after allowing her transgender daughter to participate in girls' high school volleyball, sparking a contentious debate on transgender rights and sports regulations, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The situation has left the teenager's academic and social life in disarray, prompting a delay in the termination decision as the community grapples with the repercussions.

Jessica Norton faces potential termination for permitting her transgender daughter to join the girls' varsity volleyball team at Monarch High School in Fort Lauderdale. The controversy arose when an anonymous tip in November exposed the 16-year-old's participation, allegedly violating the 2021 Fairness in Women's Sports Act.

Norton, a computer information specialist at Monarch, not only allowed her daughter to play but also didn't change her daughter's gender on school records from "female" back to "male," as required by policy, according to a school district investigation. 

Florida is one of 25 states that have implemented restrictions on gender-transitioning care for minors and one of 24 states that have passed laws prohibiting transgender women and girls from participating in certain women's and girls' sports.

Norton defended her actions, lamenting how the investigation had derailed her daughter's promising high school trajectory. The once-vibrant student held prestigious positions and cherished memories at Monarch, she said, but are now replaced by a digital schooling existence.

Amid escalating tensions, Superintendent Howard Hepburn's recommendation to terminate Norton's employment faces an uncertain outcome due to conflicting opinions within the school board.

When her daughter started high school in 2022, Norton was aware of the new state law prohibiting transgender girls from participating in girls' sports. However, when asked why she allowed her daughter to play volleyball and indicated "female" on a registration form inquiring about the child's "sex at birth," Norton explained that she supported her daughter's decision to play.

"She's my child, and she wanted to play," she said.

Norton was also a coach for the school's junior varsity volleyball team.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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A Florida school district employee is on the brink of losing her job after allowing her transgender daughter to participate in girls' high school volleyball, sparking a contentious debate on transgender rights and sports regulations, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
employee, school, firing, transgender, volleyball
332
2024-14-20
Thursday, 20 June 2024 07:14 PM
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