SDHSAA Considers Adding Paperwork, Swapping Committee for One Hearing Officer in Transgender Policy

Rep. Roger Hunt (R-25/Brandon) wants transgender students to drop trou and show their genitalia so officials may overrule the students’ gender identification with their apparent biological sex.

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Notice, Roger, the word there is “Serving,” not “Searching.”

The South Dakota High School Activities Association doesn’t want to get into anyone’s pants. However, in their meeting tomorrow in Pierre, the SDHSAA Board of Directors will consider revisions to the transgender participation policy they adopted last year to expand the information gathered to establish the sincerity and consistency of a student athlete’s gender identification and expression.

The current policy requires that transgender students seeking approval to play on the gender teams that match their gender identity must submit a current transcript with declared gender, documentation from people who know them affirming their gender identification, documentation of accommodations already made by the school for their gender identification, and written verification of gender identification from a health care professional. The proposed revision drafted by SDHSAA legal counsel this summer adds the following to the documentation requirements:

  1. “A written statement from the student and the student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s) affirming the consistent gender identity and expression to which the student self-relates”
  2. “Any other evidence as may be determined appropriate by the school or the SDHSAA office relative to the eligibility determination which may reflect upon whether the gender identity is sincerely held as part of the person’s core identity”

The existing participation policy already requires transgender students to jump through far more hoops to play basketball than other students. The first additional document requires students and their parents to write another document, albeit one that they could keep short to obey the letter of the rule: “Dear SDHSAA: We certify that our daughter Jane consistently identifies and expresses herself as female. Sincerely, signed, Parents and Jane.” The second revision doesn’t mandate more paperwork—a school that trusts and respects its transgender students can apparently choose not to determine any further information necessary—but the vague “any other evidence” does open the door for balky schools to delay applications and harass students with additional invasive demands. I’d tread carefully there.

The other major revision is the replacement of the Gender Identification Eligibility Committee with an Independent Hearing Officer. Right now, the GIEC, made up of a physician, a mental health professional, and an “advocate familiar with gender identity and expression issues” reviews and rules on transgender participation applications. The physician and mental health professional are to be familiar with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care, which some legislators have alleged are overly advocative. SDHSAA decides not to fight that fight and drops the WPATH language, but it also takes decisions out of the hands of professionals familiar with transgender issues and hands them to one lawyer. If conservatives can’t stand five lawyers interpreting law, they should go ape over one lawyer deciding a child’s gender. It is possible that moving the decision from a committee to one Independent Hearing Officer will speed the process, but while the proposed revision strikes the fourteen-day deadline for GIEC decisions, it does not appear to impose a deadline on the IHO. Come on, SDHSAA: if a committee can decide in fourteen days, an individual should be able to decide in seven.

Of course, the SDHSAA is just talking about tweaking the bits and pieces of their transgender policy. Rep. Roger Hunt wants to see kids kibbles and bits, and his culture warriors will likely bombard the Board of Directors tomorrow with their calls to stop the scourge of kids trying to be themselves and play ball. SDHSAA, consider your revisions carefully, but stand your ground. Remember that you, SDHSAA, are working to provide all students with safe, healthy opportunities to participate in learning activities, while Roger Hunt, the Family Policy Council, and the other people shouting at you are the bullies blaming the victims and trying to get you to join in the bullying.


27 Responses to SDHSAA Considers Adding Paperwork, Swapping Committee for One Hearing Officer in Transgender Policy

  1. mike from iowa

    expand the information gathered to establish the sincerity and consistency of political appointees religious beliefs. Fixed it.

  2. Again I’d advise parents of transgender, intersex or gender dysphoric kids to move to Twin Cities metro area or a smaller town not far and out of South Dakota. It will be much easier for all involved. They will get the help they need with a good support system with less negative distractions, shame and humiliation than they will to remain here. Whichever path that child chooses or is more inclined they will greatly increase their chances of being better adjusted, healthier mentally, physically and spiritually later in life.

  3. Deb Geelsdottir

    That 2nd clause is concerning to me too. However, I notice it says, “may reflect upon whether the gender identity is sincerely held as part of the person’s core identity.”

    I determine that is about the individual’s sense of self, and not their genitalia. Maybe that’s what Hunt doesn’t like. Remember those on the far right feel shame and humiliation are good tools to control behavior. They like it, as long as it’s not them.

    I support Mike’s suggestion

  4. Mike McGirr

    Require all students to provide proof of sincere gender identity or simply let them choose! How do they know who is transgender? A committee decides (how?) who has to be tortured before they can participate? Who came up with the idea that physical gender or gender identity is a simple male/female division anyway? As usual the tactic is to shame young people and their families into conformity with ignorant beliefs rather than to celebrate the amazing diversity of creation. I agree with Lynn: For the sake of your child and your own quality of life, move out of South Dakota. Staying to fight the good fight may seem worthy, but if your child survives they will be scarred for life.

  5. It’s not all sadness in having a family and child feel they must leave South Dakota given the political environment and Bigotry but really it’s a better overall opportunity for them. The clock is ticking in life which is too short as it is and adding to what I posted above there would be better educational, cultural and economic opportunities for them in Minnesota.

  6. larry kurtz

    Minnesota: the land of 10,000 reasons not to live in that other chemical toilet.

  7. Larry,

    Minnesota is not perfect and they have their own issues like anywhere else but especially in this particular instance it would be a far better choice to live for such a vulnerable group and time in their lives.

  8. larry kurtz

    Lynn, being a perfect ass is not a good thing: keep that close.

  9. Nonsensical typing in a smoke filled room again? lol

    Might have to stop at the Shed tomorrow and pick up a Green Chili Burrito or a Pollo Adobo

  10. larry kurtz

    La Choza: i raise you a carne asada Christmas and two house margaritas.

  11. Larry,

    La Choza is good too with what you suggested and also their their Stuffed Sopaipilla w/ green chili and a Negra Modelo Amber but for that family moving from South Dakota to Minnesota La Loma Tamales at the Midtown Global Market has an incredible breakfast entrée to kick start your day or served all day being Chilaquiles Verdes w/ marinated chicken and a bottle of Coke from Mexico with real sugar and NOT the Coke bottled in the US with high fructose corn syrup. What a difference!

    Midtown Global market is on Lake street in South Minneapolis or right on the Midtown Greenway which is like a bicycle highway running thru the city on what was an old rail line.

  12. larry kurtz

    Lynn, i’m in a committed relationship with a real human: you should consider it.

  13. Deb Geelsdottir

    Midtown Global Market is one of the coolest places in MN. I think the only place you can find greater diversity is NYC. I had lunch there Saturday at an African cafe. I wanted the roast goat, but it was already gone. Rats.

  14. Larry,

    We are talking an escape for a family with a child to a much better place, food to help with comfort, opportunities and not anything else. That stuff your smoking is making you see things that isn’t there. Don’t make it more than what it is. Lay the pipe down for once.

  15. Deb,

    Midtown Market is awesome with pickup boxes for CSAs, very diverse markets and cafes as you mentioned. Not sure if Holy Land is still there but I always stop at La Loma when I’m there. Then there is a Freewheel Bike satellite shop across on the Greenway if you have a mechanical need or a break to check things out there at their shop.

  16. larry kurtz

    transgender politics at the fourth grade level, lynn? how revelatory.

  17. Given what your probably smoking and the long term damage it’s beyond your comprehension.

  18. larry kurtz

    roger hunt and touchy-feely or leadership from sdgop? death by screw gun or death by pneumatic nail gun?

  19. mike from iowa

    St Paul Ice Palace sounds like a kewl place in the summer.

  20. Thanks, Hap! Stu’s column deserves a post of it’s own….

  21. Lynn’s abandon-ship urgings depress me, but they do not originate with Lynn. Lynn’s urgings only echo a trend that David Newquist says all sorts of educated, ambitious, socially responsible South Dakotans have established. Our base is self-deporting.

  22. Cory,

    Sorry again and I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Newquist but I just sold a property and finished with it and am getting ready to hit the dusty trail myself. It’s about analyzing the amount of energy, emotional and time investment required and it’s not worth it. Too much dysfunction, ideas that don’t reflect reality outside of certain bubbles nor the long term negative consequences. I have always been happy to be a grunt but life is too short and moving elsewhere energies can be directed more towards enjoyable opportunities.

    Plus there are more Phil Jensens, Jim Bolins, Mark Chase, Concern Women for America types moving here which is scary and I feel for those that remain. South Dakota the Mississippi of the North

  23. NIDA says the plastic brain is REWIRED by use of substances seeking the reward of dopamine ect. (as in “why do yah think they call it dope?”). this results in loss of ability to resist powerful craving.

    courts still think it is a matter of will power, as does the rest of society, until individually they step on their own personal or family land mine. if you are one of the addicted 10%, the entire family loses its life they once knew and for the next 25 years of denial, rehab, craving, jail, death, everybody reels with rewired brains. understanding evolution is kind of important.

    so what does society do? mayor allender encourages the whole family to come on down town thursday night. states legalize. 85 million of us are on this merry-go-round of waste. the rest apparently imbibe reasonably as corporate encourages! party!!

    its about the science, not morality.

  24. happy camper

    Now that my personal responsibilities have ended I am also transitioning out, but why go to MN when you can go warmer. SD is just too backwards although being here again opened my eyes it’s not all bad the way I remembered it. I’m not a closet case and while I’m pretty sure there’s been some discrimination, mostly not. We really are a state of right leaning moderates with a larger dose of the far right than nationally, so true progressives don’t have a chance, but moderates of either party without the strong rhetoric do. Most Democrats (though not on this blog) would embrace Republican Light or whatever you want to call it. Rick’s campaign set the wrong tone with Take It Back. Nobody wants to go back for one thing, and people are just tired of partisan politics. The Democratic Party in South Dakota has to be realistic, study and be in tune with the demographics. Harry Reed was no dumb bunny. A liberal Republican friend stopped to talk to the Democrats but said they were just too angry. You can’t man the posts with raging volunteers and think people will be attracted to that other than the leftest base. If you want to be a happy progressive get the hell out of here or just stop caring about politics and appreciate what’s good. It’s too damn cold anyway.

  25. Happy your hitting the Dusty Trail also sounds cool! Congratulations and best wishes!

    Sometimes it may not be a matter of being happy progressive or whatever but more of a competitively balanced government that has checks and balances that keeps the crazies on either side of the political spectrum at bay. The system is healthy enough that it has your back already and if you decide to get involved you may not feel the urgency to put as much time and resources into it as in an unhealthy lopsided political environment. You get better quality candidates and with good competition everyone can win to some extent.

    Climate wise I’ve had former co-workers that lived for winter to cross country ski, snow shoe, speed skate, surf with wetsuits riding awesome West Coast like waves on Lake Superior in Duluth and did not look forward to warmer months. lol Utopia is a state of mind.

  26. Bill Dithmero

    Happy, ya got it right.

    The Blindman