The Alaska Board of Education has opened the public comment period for a state regulation aimed at safeguarding girls’ athletic teams in K-12 schools across the state.
The proposed regulation, put forth by the State Board of Education and Early Development, seeks to prevent boys from competing in any exclusively girls’ divisions, ensuring fairness, safety, and equal opportunities for female students in middle and high school athletics.
Although legislation has been introduced to protect girls’ athletics, Democrats and some Republicans in the Alaska Legislature oppose it, and the legislation is not moving.
The proposed changes to the Alaska Administrative Code, specifically 4 AAC 06, pertain to school district interscholastic activities.
One of the proposed alterations, 4 AAC 06.115(b)(5), would require all nonprofit associations responsible for administering and promoting interscholastic activities in Alaska to restrict participation in separate high school athletics teams for competitive or contact sports to females who were female at birth, rather than males who have taken hormones and had surgeries to present themselves as females.
This regulation change aims to address concerns about the physical advantages that transgender male-to-female athletes have over true female athletes.
In past years, this was not an issue, but increasingly, gender dysphoria has created a situation where boys can rob girls of their sports medals by competing in girls’ divisions.
The public may provide comments on the proposed regulation changes, including any potential costs for private individuals in complying with these changes.
Written comments can be submitted to the Commissioner’s Office, Department of Education and Early Development, Attn: Regulations Review, at the following address: 333 Willoughby Ave., 9th Floor, State Office Building, P.O. Box 110500, Juneau, Alaska 99811-0500.
Comments can also be sent by fax to 907-465-2806 or by email to Janell Andrews at [email protected].
All comments must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on July 21.
Additionally, an opportunity for oral comments relevant to the proposed action will be provided during a hearing scheduled for July 26, 2023. The hearing will take place via the Zoom platform, with no in-person attendance available. Participants can join the online Zoom meeting at http://us02web.zoom.us/j/99391482721 or by calling 1-253-215-8782 and selecting *9 on their phone’s keypad. The hearing is scheduled from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., and priority will be given to commenters who are on the line before the start of the hearing.
The State Board of Education and Early Development Chair, James Fields, may limit the time allotted for each person providing oral testimony, if necessary, to ensure the hearing concludes within the designated time.