Lesson Plan

Why are States Trying to Ban Transgender Student Athletes?

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GRADE LEVEL: High School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Language

SEL STANDARDS*: Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, Responsible Decision-Making

Introducing Bills to Limit Transgender Athletes from Playing Sports

In 2020, twenty bills in eighteen states were introduced by state legislatures to limit athletes who are transgender from competing on sports teams. Only Idaho was successful in passing such a law. By the end of January 2021, these bills began to gain momentum again, with states once again introducing bills to limit athletes who are transgender from competing on sports teams. If the bills pass, these students would be restricted to playing sports based on their sex assigned at birth, not their gender identity. In March 2021, the Mississippi House and Senate passed a bill that would ban transgender athletes from competing on female sports teams in schools and universities. The Governor is expected to sign it. It is important to reflect on these current bills in the context of the larger picture of transgender rights in the United States.

About the Lesson Plan

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to reflect on how their experiences with playing sports and participating in other activities affects them, learn more about these bills that aim to prevent transgender students from playing sports, and consider what they can do about it.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will reflect on their experiences with sports and other extracurricular activities.
  • Students will learn about the recent bills that aim to limit transgender athletes from participating in school sports.  
  • Students will explore actions they can take about these bills or transgender rights in general.