Transgender Student Athlete Policy
The intentional and broad diversity of the schools of the Friends Schools League is an essential strength and benefit of our school communities. Our experience of our diversity and our collective and evolving work of inclusion makes us better advocates for all of our students. Our exploration of the issues of equity, access and conditions of healthy development for all students makes our schools communities stronger, deeper in understanding and more effective learning communities.
In recent years, we have been growing in our understanding of gender, gender identity development and the experiences of children who are transgender or gender expansive. Each of our schools, and heads and athletic directors of the Friends Schools League, has committed to significant professional development to better serve our transgender students and their families. This shared professional understanding strengthens the community of our League among coaches, athletic directors, school heads, students and their families.
The Friends Schools League affirms that transgender and gender expansive students should be fully welcomed and supported as student-athletes in the League. Specifically:
Transgender students are welcomed to participate on the teams that align with their gender identity. Individual schools make appropriate team assignments for their own student athletes. Such students will not necessarily be identified as transgender out of respect for privacy. No FSL student will be challenged or asked to provide proof or evidence of their gender in participating in FSL competition.
Transgender student athletes shall have access to the locker room and bathroom facilities that align with their gender identity at FSL schools. Any FSL student athlete may request private facilities for changing, showering or bathroom use and will be accommodated as is feasible at any FSL school.
Schools may communicate special needs or considerations of individual students and collaborate in good will to accommodate them. Privacy of transgender students is to be respected at all times given that students may or may not wish to be publicly acknowledged as transgender students.
Finally, the League acknowledges that complex issues may arise with individual students or specific circumstances. Effective diversity and inclusion work often requires new learning, thoughtful exploration of conflict and navigation of complexity or uncertainty. No policy can anticipate all possibilities and attempts to do so can be more restrictive or complex than helpful.
As issues or challenges arise, we expect schools to address them respectfully and use the leadership of the league to help deepen understanding and reach a way forward that best serves our students, our school communities and the League.