Dem governor dodges on protecting girls’ sports from trans athletes, teaching gender ideology
Colorado Democrat Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday refused to answer questions from House lawmakers on whether biological boys should be allowed to play sports with biological girls and how old students should be before teachers talk to them about gender transitioning.
Polis appeared at a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing to talk about the state of education, and he was asked by Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., about whether boys who identify as girls should be allowed to play sports with girls in elementary, middle and high school.
“I have three daughters, you have a daughter,” Banks said to Polis. “Don’t you think … it’s unfair that biological boys are allowed to compete against biological girls in sports?”
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“My daughter is 8 years old, she plays in little league baseball in Boulder, Colorado, and it’s a coed league,” Polis said. “It’s probably about 10% girls, about 90% boys, and she’s every bit as competitive as them.”
“Pretty soon your 8-year-old will be 15, 16, and I wonder how you’ll feel at that point,” Banks said after Polis declined to answer directly. Banks’ critique came even after he praised Polis for his support of charter schools in Colorado.
Virginia Gentles, director of the Education Freedom Center at the Independent Women’s Forum, was another witness at the hearing, and she said allowing boys to play alongside girls is “unfair and discriminatory.”
“Congressman Greg Steube has introduced the ‘Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act,’ which will end the practice of allowing biological males to take awards, roster spots, scholarships or spots at a school from female athletes,” she said, referencing the Florida Republican.
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Later in the hearing, Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., said emails that her office has shows teachers were talking about gender ideology with 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds. She asked Polis several times whether it’s appropriate for adult teachers to talk about that subject with young students, but Polis deflected each time.
“These are not part of our state standards or curriculum around health or around social studies,” he said, stopping short of saying whether he thinks it’s appropriate.
“What’s important [is] that the teachers, the principals meet the needs of all learners, all students, no matter who they are, no matter how they identify, they need to learn math, reading and writing,” Polis added.
When pressed again for a specific answer on whether it’s appropriate to teach young kids about gender ideology, Polis again said doing so is not part of the state’s education plan.
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“I can assure you that it’s not part of our state’s standards, it’s certainly not part of our age-appropriate health standards, nor is it part of our social studies standards to have that as part of the curriculum at that age,” he said.
Gentles said in her written remarks that parents are upset that any school funding is going toward issues like gender identity and anti-racism education.
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“Federal, state and local policies that embrace and enforce gender and other divisive ideologies in the K-12 education system pressure students to define themselves by their racial, sexual and gender identity,” she said. “Polls consistently reveal that most people don’t want children to be bombarded with activist-drafted materials, books and lessons pushing radical gender ideology.”