Florida high school principal reassigned amid transgender athlete’s participation

November 29, 2023 / Athletic Administration
A Florida principal, as well as several staff members, have been reassigned to non-school sites pending an investigation of “improper student participation in sports” involving a transgender student, according to a statement from Broward County Public Schools.

James Cecil, the principal of Monarch High School, is being investigated for his role in allegedly allowing a biological male who is transitioning or has transitioned and was allowed to play on the girls’ volleyball team.

transgenderFlorida state law prohibits biological males from participating in female sports.

A recent report from WSVN.com detailed the decision by Broward County Public Schools and received reaction statements from school officials and students.

Below is an excerpt from the WSVN.com story.

The statement, issued by John J. Sullivan, Chief Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer of Broward County Public Schools, did not provide specific details regarding the nature of the investigation.

“The principal of Monarch High School and several staff members have been reassigned to non-school sites pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of improper student participation in sports. Although we cannot comment further, we will continue to follow state law and will take appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigation. We are committed to providing all our students with a safe and inclusive learning environment.”

– John J. Sullivan, Chief Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer of Broward County Public Schools

Aside from Cecil being reassigned, Broward County Public Schools notified three other staff members who are part of the BCPS Special Investigative Unit’s investigation and were reassigned to non-school sites pending the outcome.

The staff members include the following:

  • Kenneth May – Assistant Principal
  • Dione Hester – Teacher/Athletic Director
  • Jessica Norton – Information Management Technician

Additionally, Alex Burgess, a temporary athletic coach, was advised that his services were paused as the investigation is underway.

Students at the school reacted to the news of the investigation.

“I don’t think it should be a problem big enough for you to have the school’s principal reassigned,” a student said. “At the end of the day, that’s just an extracurricular.”

“I don’t agree with that. He shouldn’t be allowed to play on the team,” a student said. “If he’s a biological boy, I don’t think he should play on the team.”

BCPS board member Torey Alston also reacted to the investigation into the transgender student playing on the girls’ volleyball team.

“The investigation will follow the facts and if it is revealed that state law is in question, I could tell you, we will follow state law,” Alston said.

Lisa Maxwell, executive director of the Broward Principals and Assistants Association, released a statement, which reads as follows, “We are confident that at the end of this investigation, principal James Cecil will be fully exonerated and will return to Monarch High.”

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