West Virginia middle school students barred from track meet after protesting transgender athlete's inclusion

Last week, five middle school girls were barred from competing in a track and field event after protesting a court’s ruling to block enforcement of the state’s “Save Women’s Sports Act,” according to the West Virginia Attorney General’s office.

The state law prohibited transgender girls from competing against biological girls in sports. But, in a 2-1 ruling, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found the law violated Title IX, siding with the American Civil Liberties Union, its West Virginia chapter and Lambda Legal.

OutKick notes that the students refused to participate in the event due to a transgender athlete’s inclusion in the meet. A biological male finished in first place in the shot put and second in the discus event.

Video provided to Outkick shows the girls stepping into the shot put circle but stepping out without a throw, resulting in a foul, and, evidently, a forfeit.


WV Fox News graphic

Five middle school girls were barred from a track meet after protesting the inclusion of a trans athlete at a previous meet. (Fox News)

The students, from Lincoln Middle School in Shinnston, West Virginia, were then prohibited from competing in their next event, which took place Saturday. They returned to competition Monday.

In response, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a lawsuit against the Harrison County Board of Education, where four of the five athletes and their parents are listed as plaintiffs.

Morrisey released a statement Thursday, which was obtained by Fox News Digital.

“I want to say to these students and their parents: I have your backs. You saw unfairness, and you expressed your disappointment and sacrificed your personal performances in a sport that you love; exercised your constitutionally protected freedom of speech and expression,” Morrisey said.

Patrick Morrisey in April 2024

West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey announced he’s taking his fight to the Supreme Court. (Screenshot)

“These girls didn’t disrupt anything when they protested. They should be commended, not punished. We need to teach them that it is noble to stand firm in their beliefs and address their grievances within the protections guaranteed by our Constitution. They need not to be silent. They have won by having their voices heard. So glad we were able to weigh in on behalf of these courageous young girls and that they are able to play.”

A Harrison County Circuit Court judge on Thursday heard the case involving the students.

Also on Thursday, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Sanders signed an executive order in response to President Biden’s new Title IX regulations that added protections for transgender athletes.

Jillian Michaels addresses trans athlete debate obesity rates in US

Several middle school girls refused to compete in their shot put competition over a trans athlete’s participation.  (‘Fox & Friends’ screengrab)


Six states sued the Department of Education with respect to the overhaul of Title IX this week.

Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

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