Education Department to limit bans on transgender student athletes but allow exceptions

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The Education Department on Thursday proposed that schools and colleges in the U.S. can't enact blanket bans on transgender athletes participating in school sports that match their gender identity, but allowed limits under certain circumstances. In order to block transgender athletes from certain teams, a school would have to show that the eligibility requirements "serve important educational objectives, such as ensuring fairness in competition or preventing sports-related injury."

The proposed rule "recognizes that in some instances, particularly in competitive high school and college athletic environments, some schools may adopt policies that limit transgender students' participation," the Education Department said in a fact sheet. So while a high school varsity swim team could propose limiting transgender athletes, a middle school intramural club would have a harder time justifying such a policy.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.