South Dakota schools grapple with Noem’s order on transgender sports

South Dakota News

FILE – In this Feb. 27, 2021 file photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Fla. Noem initially appeared eager to deliver what looked like an easy win for social conservatives. South Dakota’s GOP-led legislature passed a bill banning transgender women and girls participating in women’s sports leagues, and the Republican governor declared herself “excited to sign” the bill. But Noem’s enthusiasm faded surprisingly fast and she came up with a “partial veto” to exclude collegiate athletics. (AP Photo/John Raoux, file)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — When South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem issued executive orders to bar transgender girls from girls’ sports leagues, it appeared to be a quick fix to what had become a political mess.

But the governor’s orders won’t cause immediate changes and may not be implemented at all unless the Legislature addresses the issue.

While the governor’s spokesman Ian Fury says that “school districts are expected to implement that policy,” an organization representing school administrators says it will likely stick to a policy of allowing transgender athletes to apply to join teams that align with their gender identity.

Transgender advocates say a ban sends a hurtful message to transgender children.

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