WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has agreed to investigate the complaint of three female high school track competitors who state that they are being unfairly discriminated against in that two boys who identify as girls have been allowed to compete against them. One student who has publicly come forward says that she and the other girls have been denied opportunities to succeed and gain scholarships because their male competitors far exceed them.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) recently adopted a policy allowing students to compete in sports in accordance with their “gender identity,” stating that “[t]he CIAC is committed to providing transgender student athletes with equal opportunities to participate in CIAC athletic programs consistent with their gender identity.”
Because of this policy, two biological boys, who goes by the names Andrea Yearwood and Terry Miller, were permitted to join the girls track team at their school and compete as females, moving on to the New England regionals.
However, one of the female competitors, Selina Soule, who attends Bloomfield High School, doesn’t think it is fair that she wasn’t able to qualify for the 55-meter race at the regionals because Yearwood and Miller took two of the top spots. She came in eighth.
“When I’m at the start of the race, when I’m lining up and getting into my blocks, everyone already knows the outcome. Those two athletes are going to come up and two, and everyone knows it,” she told the Daily Signal.
“From third on, it’s a little different, we’re actually fighting for those spots [among the girls], but in those meets, there’s no way that one of us biological girls will be able to outrun those transgender athletes.”
She said that her entire track team has been affected. It lost out in the state open championship because the team with the transgender runner naturally came out on top.
“No one thinks it’s fair because we all know males are physically stronger than females and they compete at a higher level,” Soule lamented. “It’s very frustrating and heartbreaking when us girls are at the start of the race and we already know that these athletes are going to come out and win, no matter hard we try.”
The teen says that the two boys also have an advantage to be selected for college female athletics, which harms her chances of being chosen, advancing in track and making it to the Olympics.
“[I]t can be difficult showcasing my talents to coaches from around the country as they only look at the results online. They see the first and/or second place girl so far ahead of the rest of the girls, and they’re going to reach out to and try to recruit those two top girls versus everyone else,” she lamented.
Yearwood and Miller state that their feelings and identification should to be taken into consideration.
“We’re female, so we wouldn’t run on any other team but the female team,” Yearwood told NBC News.
“Are we not human like everyone else? Am I just some ‘it’ or my life doesn’t matter?” Miller asked. “How do you think we feel? We go through this every day and we’re brave enough to keep running.”
Soule and her mother, along with two other girls and their parents, filed a complaint in June with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. On Wednesday, the department advised Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is handling the case, that it is opening the complaint for investigation, specifically based on several questions:
“Whether the CIAC and the district have denied equal athletic benefits and opportunities to girls, including Students 1, 2, and 3, through the transgender participation policy…”
“Whether the CIAC retaliated against Complainant 1 for her advocacy against the transgender participation policy by informing [her] in March 2019 that the CIAC’s executive director would no longer accept communications from her …”
“Whether the district retaliated against Student 2 for her and Complainant 2’s advocacy against the transgender participation policy when Student 2’s track coach replaced Student 2 on the sprint medley relay team in February 2019, told [her] and her parents that he could not give a good report to college coaches about her, and denied Student 2 a position as a team captain, and suggested that she should leave the outdoor track team due to her schedule … “
“Female athletes deserve to compete on a level playing field. Forcing them to compete against boys makes them spectators in their own sports, which is grossly unfair and destroys their athletic opportunities,” said ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb in a statement on Thursday. “For that reason, we are pleased that OCR has agreed to investigate.”
“Title IX is a federal law that was designed to eliminate discrimination against women in education and athletics, and women fought long and hard to earn the equal athletic opportunities that Title IX provides.”
According to NBC News, 16 groups supportive of transgender causes have pushed back against the complaint, calling the concerns “unfounded fears.”