Florida punishes high school, trans athlete for actions permitted

Monarch High School in Florida has been put on probation and slapped with a hefty fine for allowing a transgender student to play on the girls’ volleyball team in violation of state law.

(Video Credit: WPLG Local 10)

The Daily Mail reported that the Florida High School Athletic Association ruled the student would be banned from all high school sports after illegally competing on the team according to a three-page letter sent to the interim principal.

Monarch High School was fined $16,500 for the transgression and Principal James Cecil, Assistant Principal Kenneth May, Athletic Director Dione Hester, and Volleyball Coach Jessica Norton were all placed on leave and reassigned. That’s $500 for each of the 33 games the transgender student participated in. The principal and athletic director are required to attend compliance seminars during the upcoming school year over the issue. It was later revealed that Norton is the mother of the transgender student.

The former volleyball coach, Alex Burgess, claims he was unaware that the Sophomore was born a male and he only found out in November that was the case.

“I had no clue,” he insisted according to the Daily Mail. “I guess there was some people who already knew, but I guess whoever came in to kind of investigate kind of pointed fingers at her.”

Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” two years ago that mandates athletes participate on teams that align with their gender determined at birth.

“In Florida, girls are going to play girls’ sports and boys are going to play boys’ sports,” DeSantis proclaimed when he signed the bill into law. “We’re going to make sure that that’s the reality.”

The transgender student is officially banned from playing on sports teams until November 20, 2024, which is one year after the violation was ruled on according to the Daily Mail. The Broward School District is investigating the student’s involvement on the sports team.

“The District is in receipt of the letter from the Florida High School Athletic Association regarding the recent incident at Monarch High School. The District’s investigation into the matter remains ongoing at this time,” District Spokesman John Sullivan told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in an interview.

The incident came to light after someone sent a tip to local officials that a biological male had been allowed to compete on the volleyball team.

The student reportedly started taking hormone blockers at the age of 11 and was on the team for two years. He has allegedly identified as female since he was three years old.

(Video Credit: CBS News)

Volleyball Coach Jessica Norton asserts that the banning of her son will put him in danger.

“There is a long history in this country of outing people against their will — forced outing, particularly of a child, is a direct attempt to endanger the person being outed,” Norton’s statement contended. “We kindly ask everyone to respect our family’s privacy, and to give our family the space we need to speak to our experience on our own terms and timeline.”

“So now we are punishing student-athletes and wasting money on fines that could be used to support our schools and our students?” Jennifer Solomon of Equality Florida, an LGBTQ advocacy group, vented over the ruling.

“Florida’s transgender sports ban didn’t emerge from a genuine concern for school athletics — it was part of a cynical political strategy to dehumanize and scapegoat marginalized youth,” Carlos Guillermo Smith, senior policy adviser for the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Equality Florida, stated according to Politico.

Hundreds of students conducted two walkouts at the high school, protesting the staff reassignments. They surged onto the football field, waving signs in support of the student while chanting “trans lives matter,” according to the Daily Mail.

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