FHSAA fines school for transgender player on volleyball team

December 13, 2023 / Athletic AdministrationCoachingVolleyball
The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) has fined a high school and placed it on probation this week after a transgender student played on the girls volleyball team—a violation of a law enacted by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature.

Monarch High School was fined $16,500 and placed on probation for 11 months while the principal and athletic director were ordered to attend rules seminars. The transgender student has also been barred from participating in boys sports for 11 months.

fhsaaA recent story from WESH.com detailed the FHSAA rule violation and the reactions that followed. Below is an excerpt from the WESH.com story.

The 2021 law, which supporters named “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” bars transgender girls and women from playing on public school teams intended for student-athletes identified as girls at birth.

The student, a 10th grader who played in 33 matches over the last two seasons, was removed from the team last month after the Broward County School District was notified by an anonymous tipster about her participation. Her removal led hundreds of Monarch students to walk out of class two weeks ago in protest.

The Associated Press is not naming the student to protect her privacy.

“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida passed legislation to protect girls’ sports and we will not tolerate any school that violates this law,” Education Commissioner Manny Diaz said in a statement. “We applaud the swift action taken by the Florida High School Athletic Association to ensure there are serious consequences for this illegal behavior.”

Jessica Norton, the girl’s mother and a Monarch information technician, went public last week. She reissued a statement Tuesday calling the outing of her daughter a “direct attempt to endanger” the girl.

The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ rights organization that has been supporting the family, said in a statement that Tuesday’s ruling “does not change the fact that the law preventing transgender girls from playing sports with their peers is unconstitutionally rooted in anti-transgender bias, and the Association’s claim to ensure equal opportunities for student-athletes rings hollow. ”

“The reckless indifference to the well-being of our client and her family, and all transgender students across the State, will not be ignored,” wrote Jason Starr, the group’s litigation strategist.

To read the full story from WESH.com, click here.