Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, the CIAC and the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities remain firm that they will be upholding a state law that allows transgender girls to compete in girls high school sports, the Connecticut Mirror reported.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights issued a finding that said the CIAC and six school districts – including Canton – have violated Title IX by allowing transgender athletes to compete in girls track and field events over the last three years.
In February, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) sent a letter of impending enforcement action to the CIAC and the six schools that said the CIAC policy violates federal law. The OCR said the policy gives the transgender athletes an unfair advantage and has deprived athletes – including Canton High graduate Chelsea Mitchell — of opportunities to qualify, compete and win at the State Open and New England track and field championship events.
The CIAC and the six schools – Canton, Bloomfield, Cromwell, Danbury, Glastonbury and Hartford (Bulkeley) – could lose federal funding, according to the OCR’s letter.
“The document is not a ruling, it is a finding,” said Dan Barrett, Legal Director of the Connecticut chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in May. “A finding is one early step in a long administrative process and a federal lawsuit is still ongoing.”
There are actually two cases in motion – one with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and a federal lawsuit that was filed in February by the Alliance Defending Freedom organization on behalf of Mitchell, Glastonbury High senior Selina Soule and Danbury High sophomore Alanna Smith.
The Connecticut Mirror has updates and additional detail about the case from Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, who indicated last week that he may be willing to reconsider the law, lawyers for the Canton school system, lawyers representing the cisgender athletes and a former federal prosecutor.
With no final decision yet in the federal lawsuit or with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights process, the CIAC’s transgender policy remains in effect at this time