US Education Department Rules Against CT's Transgender Rules

The United States Education Department could withhold funding to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference if the state athletic association doesn't change its rules on for transgender athletes, the Associate Press found after acquiring a 45-page letter on the subject. 

The U.S. Education Department says Connecticut's high school sports association's bylaws, which allow transgender athletes to compete in the gender of which they identify with, violate Title IX law, a federal rights law that protects opportunities for women, including fairness in athletic competition. 

According to the AP, the letter says the Education Department could withhold funding to the CIAC if it doesn't change course. This decision runs concurrent with a federal lawsuit that was submitted on behalf of three athletes in Connecticut arguing against the CIAC's guidelines, which allow transgender athletes to compete in high school sports. 

The CIAC has responded by saying its state guidelines follow federal and state laws, which protect the rights of transgender individuals in schools. 

The letter by the US Education Department reads in part that is has "denied female student-athlete athletic benefits and opportunities, including advancing to the finals in events, higher level competitions, awards, medals, recognition, and the possibility of greater visibility to colleges and other benefits." 

Two transgender athletes in Connecticut, Broomfield's Terry Miller and Cromwell's Andraya Yearwood, have competed in the state for the past two years and have seen success in track and field, both winning state championships over their careers thus far. The cancellation of the spring season eliminated Miller's chance to repeat as as the CIAC Class S Champion in the 100m. 

One of three girls filing suit includes Canton's Chelsea Mitchell, who finished second to Miller in the 100m and 200m last year outdoors, but beat Miller in the 55m state finals the following indoor season. 

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