Utah school officials secretly investigated athlete’s gender

Education

FILE – Lawmakers listen as parents speak about the prospect of their children competing against transgender girls in school sports at the Utah State Capitol on March 25, 2022, in Salt Lake City. A Utah high school athletics association secretly investigated a female athlete, without telling her or her parents, after receiving complaints from the parents of two girls she had defeated in competition questioning whether the girl was transgender. (AP Photo/Samuel Metz, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (NewsNation) — A Utah high school athletics association secretly investigated a female athlete — without telling her or her parents — after receiving complaints from the parents of two girls she had defeated in competition questioning whether the girl was transgender.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday that the Utah High School Activities Association and the girl’s high school determined she indeed was female after poring through her school records dating back to kindergarten.

According to the spokesperson for the Utah High School Activities Association, David Spatafore, school officials never informed the winning student and her family about digging into her profile so as “to keep the matter private.”

The Tribune reports, however, that the investigation was not launched until after the parents of the second-and third-place finishers went to the association that oversees high school sports in the state, complaining she won “by a wide margin.”

Thats when the girl’s school reviewed her high school record and determined she was registered correcctly as female.

“The school went back to kindergarten,” Spatafore said, “and she’d always been a female. If someone has been a female since kindergarten,” he added, it’s likely they didn’t transition genders.

Spatafore declined to reveal the student’s grade, school or sport to protect her identity. He said the student and her family were not told about the investigation because it might be offensive to them and that the parents would have been contacted “if needed.”

Spatafore also said the association has looked into other complaints involving transgender athletes in its efforts to comply with the Utah law, which went into effect in July. Some complaints include “when an athlete doesn’t look feminine enough,” he said. None of the complaints have been verified.

Lawmakers didn’t question the process during the hearing, the Tribune reported.

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