Vermont school forfeits basketball game due to transgender player on opposing team

The head of Mid Vermont Christian School said it forfeited the game because having a transgender player on the opposing team "jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players."

A Vermont high school forfeited a girls basketball game and withdrew from a tournament on Feb. 21 because the opposing team had a transgender player. 

Mid Vermont Christian School was scheduled to play Long Trail School on Feb. 21. But Mid Vermont Christian School forfeited the game, according to the Long Trail athletics calendar. 

Head of Mid Vermont Christian School Vicky Fogg confirmed the forfeit in a statement to Boston.com. She said that playing against a transgender student would not create a fair or safe environment for the school’s team. 

“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,” Fogg said in a statement. 


Long Trail School did not respond to a request for comment. 

In a separate incident in October, a transgender student at Randolph Union High School in Vermont and their family received a wave of discriminatory comments after what they said was an inaccurate story gained national attention. The story in question centered on a student volleyball player and their objections to the transgender teammate using a school locker room, VTDigger reported. 

In response, the Vermont Principals’ Association released a statement reaffirming its support for transgender student-athletes. 

“Supporting transgender student-athletes is not only a core part of building an inclusive community for each student to grow and thrive, it is also a clear expectation by Vermont state law(s) in the Agency of Education Best Practices, and in VPA Policy regarding transgender student athletes,” the VPA said in a statement.

The Vermont Agency of Education’s best practices dictate that transgender and gender nonconforming students are to be given the same opportunities to participate in physical education and sports as all other students. 

“Generally, students should be permitted to participate in physical education and sports in accordance with the student’s gender identity,” the agency said in its best practices document. 


In order to receive state money, the heads of private schools in Vermont must sign a statement affirming that their school will follow state anti-discrimination laws, according to VTDigger

Last January, Mid Vermont Christian School submitted a statement to the State Board of Education saying that the school has a “right to make decisions based on its religious beliefs.” This, Fogg wrote, includes decisions on hiring, discipline, and admissions. 

Fogg wrote that, by signing the form, the school does not waive any such rights. If Vermont education rules “conflict with any of the school’s beliefs, including on marriage and sexuality,” the school could not “affirm that particular aspect” of state law. 

In her statement regarding the basketball game, Fogg reiterated her opposition to allowing transgender students to participate in women’s sports. 

“Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general,” Fogg said in a statement. 


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com