A North Carolina school board was forced to forfeit multiple games due to a biologically male transgender opponent injuring a girl during a match.
In a 5-1 vote, the Cherokee County Board of Education decided to forfeit all of their future games against Highlands High School, a rival high school, over what they called “safety concerns.”
A player on the Hiwassee Dam volleyball team suffered head and neck injuries along with ongoing signs of a concussion after a spike from a Highlands transgender athlete struck her face.
“The county will not participate in any volleyball games, varsity or junior varsity, against Highlands due to safety concerns,” said the school board in a statement.
Video of the incident shows the play, where the transgender athlete gets a running start before slamming the ball into the face of the opposing player.
This video could be tough to watch for some, as it is clear that the female player is rattled and injured by the severe contact to the head.
She seems to be hobbled and unable to get put or walk on her own for a while after the blast.
“I’ll never put a child in a position to be seriously injured,” said Joe Wood, a member of the Cherokee county school board. “I think the odds in these non-contact sports aren’t high. But in particular, in this meeting, a coach of 40 years said they’d never seen a hit like this. That was really what sealed the decision, at least on my part.”
“The competitive advantage issue certainly has to come up in any scenario with that type of transgender conversion, per se,” said Vice Chair Jeff Martin. “I can tell you that the board wasn’t searching out this kind of thing. It was brought to our attention based on the safety concerns.”
The board’s view was summed up by board member Jeff Tatham who had this to say.
“The biggest thing for us, especially after seeing the video of the injury, we felt very strongly that it was a safety concern. I think most of the board members also felt like there’s a competitive advantage issue.”
David Payne, Hiwassee Dam’s athletic director, said that he thinks that “a statement needed to be made and that it’s unfair and unsafe” to allow their students to continue to face off against this particular opponent.
Following Lia Thomas’ rise to fame as the dominant transgender NCAA swimmer, many have discussed the merit of allowing biological males to compete against biological females.
The major difference between the two cases is that while a transgender swimmer dominated competitions, there is almost zero chance of contact and injury caused by another competitor.
In volleyball, on the other hand, the potential for injury simply became too high.
Many parents and coaches are hoping that this decision will become a rallying point for other school boards to point to and use as the basis to protect their own players from injury at the hands to transgender athletes nation wide.
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