Hundreds of Monarch High School students in Coconut Creek, Florida staged a walk out to protest the reassignment of faculty members for reportedly violating Gov. Ron DeSantis’s law on transgender athletes. (DeSantis signed a law in 2021 forbidding trans girls from participating on on girl’s sports teams in public schools.) Broward County officials are conducting an investigation as to whether the reassigned faculty members let a transgender student compete on its girls’ volleyball team, according to NBC Miami.
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The principal, James Cecil, his assistant Kenneth May, the school’s athletics director, a volleyball coach and an information management technician were reassigned and removed from the high school earlier this week, due to “allegations of improper student participation in sports,” according to Broward school district.
A spokesperson for Broward County Public Schools confirmed that the faculty members were reassigned “pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of improper student participation in sports,” but did not specify the reason for the allegations of improper student participation.
Peter Licata, the district’s superintendent, told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday there would be “new processes” for athlete eligibility going forward.
“We’ll have an extra level of investigation on making sure everyone is eligible for the sport they’re playing, in all aspects, grade level, grades, so forth and so on,” he said. He went on to mention that it in unclear if the faculty members knew that they were breaking the law by letting the trans student on the team.
Anna Fusco, president of the Broward Teachers Union, echoed this sentiment.
“It’s getting harder and harder for our educators to really understand everything that’s happening,” Fusco said. “Our teachers don’t always understand new laws that come out, old laws that have been out.”
“They just want to show up and be the teacher, the coach, the counselor to help a student thrive,” she added.
Aerial news footage showed students on Tuesday wearing pink clothes and carrying signs that said “Free Cecil” and “Let her play.”