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Transgender Policy Forces Catholic Girls School Out Of Athletic Conference

Transgender Athletics has obtained exclusive information that Oakcrest School, an independent Catholic school for girls in grades 6-12, has withdrawn from the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC) due to the athletic conference’s decision to allow boys who “identify” as girls to compete in the conference’s girls athletic programs.

According to information shared exclusively with CHQ, back in March the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC) voted to amend its constitution to allow students to participate in athletics in a manner that is “consistent with their gender identity.” 

The Oakcrest School administration voted against the amendment and the measured and principled response of Head of School Mary T. Ortiz should serve as a guide and inspiration to other school administrators and parents who are faced with this same challenge.

According to emails obtained exclusively by CHQ, contrary to the conference constitution, the PVAC board called a surprise vote back in November of 2018 to change the athletic conference constitution to allow young men to compete with young women based on their choice of “gender identity.” Ms. Ortiz respectfully requested that the conference follow its own rules regarding constitution changes and that the Heads of School be allowed to meet with the PVAC Board members.

The meeting apparently occurred on January 9, 2019 and the case Ms. Ortiz made for not allowing children to choose which gender they will claim to compete in athletics and maintaining separate sports teams is a powerful one, worth repeating in its entirety:

Oakcrest, along with many other people and institutions, has a very reasonable basis for its belief in gender being equivalent to a person’s biological sex at birth. Oakcrest’s position with regard to how this issue plays out in athletics was that girls should be allowed to compete in a fair environment. We are far from alone in noting that there are legitimate concerns about fairness and safety whenever boys who identify as girls compete at the middle school and high school level. Physical strength, speed, and general athletic prowess are strongly associated with biological, sex-related characteristics. Recognition of these biological, sex-related characteristics is, and has been, the basis for organizing athletic competition for groups of matching biological sex. Medical and surgical gender reassignment interventions may affect these biological, sex-related characteristics but they do not abolish them.

While there are different beliefs with regard to this issue, all athletes from PVAC member schools have rights and responsibilities. Oakcrest girls and all female athletes from PVAC schools have a right to compete against other girls in a fair and safe manner.

Ms. Ortiz went on to say that while she ”did not want to bring our school’s mission to bear on the issue, because we know that the PVAC constitution respects and protects the diverse missions of its schools” it was clear that “at the January 9, 2019, meeting was that most of the PVAC member schools wanted to make a change in player eligibility as a way to further define the mission of the PVAC. As was stated at the meeting and at other moments, with this change, the PVAC wished to make a clear statement about gender identity.”

Translation: The Potomac Valley Athletic Conference was making the decision in order to support the transgender political agenda and to endorse the idea that children should be allowed to “choose” their own gender.

Now here is Ms. Ortiz’s measured and principled response to the vote and what it meant:

Because of this change, we cannot remain in the league because the league’s stated mission, which previously respected and protected schools with diverse missions and beliefs, is now defined in a way that no longer leaves room for a school like ours. We would like to find ways to play PVAC teams because this has never been about individual students, or against anyone.

Our mission is deeply rooted in natural law and the teachings of the Catholic Church. As a result, we have great respect for the dignity of each student, who is created in the image and likeness of God as male or female. Having been members of the PVAC for over 30 years, and as the only all-girls school, we are very sorry to have to come to this conclusion. We have enjoyed playing with such a diverse group of schools over the past three decades.

As we see it, here's the key to the entire matter – the transgender political agenda and similar identarian ideologies broke no dissent – diverse missions and beliefs are not allowed because they are subsumed by (often imagined or fallacious) diversity of identity.

All too often Catholic institutions, particularly schools, colleges and universities have folded and embraced political agendas, such as transgenderism, that are totally contrary to church teachings – we need only look to Georgetown Visitation’s embrace of homosexual “marriage” to find an example not too far from where Oakcrest and Head of School Mary T. Ortiz made their principled stand for natural law and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

We commend Ms. Ortiz and the Oakcrest parents who supported her for their adherence to Catholic religious teachings and for their willingness to stand for the principle that the young women entrusted to their care should have the opportunity to participate, and excel, in athletics in a safe, fair and equal environment and we urge other parents and school administrators to follow their example.

Click here to contribute to Oakcrest and support its mission of inculcating young women in the teachings of the Catholic Church and the spirituality of Opus Dei, and to weave together a rich liberal arts curriculum, character development, one-on-one mentoring and service to create a vibrant environment that graduates confident, young women–young women who will make a difference in all they choose to do.

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