Screenshot of Poultney High School YouTube video (MVCS in blue, Poultney in white)
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A varsity girls' basketball team at a Christian high school in Vermont has forfeited a playoff game rather than compete against a team with a male participant.
On the evening of February 21, the No. 12 Mid Vermont Christian School Eagles of White River Junction were scheduled to take on the No. 5 Long Trail Mountain Lions of Dorset in the first round of the Vermont Division IV girls' varsity tournament. However, the Eagles dropped out of the tournament and therefore forfeited their chance to compete for a state title after they learned that one member of the Mountain Lions is actually a male.
"We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players," MVCS head of school Vicky Fogg stated in an email to Fox News Digital. "Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general."
After MVCS bowed out, Long Trail lost its second-round matchup against No. 4 Arlington last Friday. Long Trail athletic director John Schneble did not respond to requests for comment regarding the MVCS forfeit, the VT Digger reported.
MVCS claims as its mission "to glorify God by preparing students for college and for life through a program of academic excellence established in Biblical truth," according to the school website, adding that the MVCS Lady Eagles "women’s basketball team is a group of young ladies enjoying the sport of basketball while they learn and grow in their faith in Christ."
Competing against male opponents would seem to violate both of those statements. However, state law permits high school athletes to "participate in physical education and sports in accordance with [their] gender identity." Any dispute about so-called transgender athletes must be considered "on a case-by-case basis." Vermont students are also permitted to use the bathrooms that accord with their supposed gender identity, not their biological sex.
MVCS is hardly the only school pushing back against the "transgender" agenda. Last fall, Blake Allen, a 14-year-old player on the girls' volleyball team at Randolph Union High School, about 35 miles northwest of MVCS, objected to having a male teammate who identified as a female changing in the girls' locker room.
As a result of Blake's complaint, the volleyball team was banned from using the locker room at all, pending further investigation by the school, and Blake was issued a five-day suspension. She elected to serve that suspension rather than write a letter of apology to the male student, which administrators tried to force her to do, she said. According to the school's website, the RUHS girls' volleyball team did not win a single game last season, though whether the season was officially forfeited is unclear.
Blake's father, Travis Allen, who coached girls' soccer at RUHS, was likewise suspended without pay for making a similar complaint about the male in the girls' locker room. The Allens have since sued the school. The two appeared on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" to discuss the situation last October:
Both Blake and Travis Allen claimed that members of their local community supported their stance against "transgender" activism in their school. However, many media outlets have disparaged Mid Vermont Christian for taking a similar stance, implicitly criticizing the school for rejecting the notion of transgenderism while still seeking tuition assistance from the state for some of its students.
"Earlier this year, Mid Vermont Christian School submitted a letter to the state Agency of Education seeking permission to receive public tuition funding while also asserting that it reserved the right not to follow all of Vermont’s anti-discrimination laws," the VT Digger stated. The Daily Mail made a similar statement in its reporting.
But Fogg and the rest of MVCS anticipated such criticism and reaffirmed their commitment to Christian principles in the letter to the state agency.
"As a religious organization, the school has a statutory and constitutional right to make decisions based on its religious beliefs, including hiring and disciplining employees, associating with others, and in its admissions, conduct and operations policies and procedures," Fogg wrote.
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Sr. Editor, News
Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.