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Trump Threatens New Haven School Funding Over Trans Athlete Policy

In this 2019 photo, Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet in New Haven.
Pat Eaton-Robb
/
Associated Press
In this 2019 photo, Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet in New Haven.

The Trump administration has threatened to cut funding for magnet schools in New Haven, Connecticut, over a state policy that allows trans athletes to compete with others of their gender in the state’s athletic conference.

New Haven school board members said the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights told the district to sign a document requiring them to ban transgender athletes from competing under their own gender.

School board member Ed Joyner said the district plans to fight the move.

“The Office of Civil Rights — I don’t feel comfortable calling them that now — are using this example to take money from us that really, most of it is devoted to academic learning and the resources we need to educate our kids,” Joyner said.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said the board is ready to fight the move.

“This is effectively extortion, where the federal government is taking away funding from our public schools, which we will fight, in order to put us in a position where we’re going against something that I believe is an important policy that we uphold,” Elicker said.

Earlier this year, the Department of Education sided against two transgender girls in Connecticut who sought to compete against other girls in track competitions. Connecticut’s athletic conference allows them to do so.

The city’s school board says it hopes the state — and Attorney General William Tong — will back them up in fighting the move.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.