WV Judge Bars 11YO Trans Girl From Playing Girls’ Sports

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 23:  Hundreds protest a Trump administration announcement this week that rescinds an Obama-era order allowing transgender students to use school bathrooms matching their gender identities, at the Stonewall Inn on February 23, 2017 in New York City. Activists and members of the transgender community gathered outside the historic LGTB bar to denounce the new policy.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • A federal judge has ruled a state law passed in 2021 keeps an 11-year-old transgender girl from participating in girls’ sports.
  • In his 23-page opinion issued January 5, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin said he suspects the aim of House Bill 3293, the Save Women’s Sports Bill, was “to politicize participation in school athletics for transgender students.”
  • Heather Jackson filed her complaint in federal court in May 2021 on behalf of Becky Pepper-Jackson, the 11-year-old male student who identifies as a girl, against the West Virginia Board of Education, then-Superintendent Clayton Burch, the Harrison County Board of Education, county Superintendent Dora Stutler and the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission.
  • In 2021, as she prepared to enter middle school, Becky expressed an interest in trying out for her school’s girls’ cross country and track teams. The school informed her mother the decision to let Becky participate depended on the outcome of HB 3293, which then was pending in the state Legislature.
  • When the law passed, the school told Becky she could not try out for the girls’ team.

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