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March 31, 2023
A Massachusetts high school head the headlines in February after winning state championship in girls indoor track and field with one of their team members being transgender.
Chloe Barnes, who is a student at Brookline High School, won 5 of her school’s 63 points in the Girls 55m Hurdles last month with a time of 8.72. Barnes finished the race in 4th position, behind one of her teammates, meaning that she failed to qualify for the Meet of the Champions final in the Massachusetts state tournament.
Brookline went onto win The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletics Association Division 1 Indoor Track and Field Championships over Newton North, Wachusett and Central Catholic.
Brookline’s victory came under fire when ICONS Women, who are a female-athlete advocacy group, accused Barnes, who was born male, of pushing another girl in the hurdles competition and preventing her from reaching the final. The group also added that there is a height difference in hurdles used in boys and girls meets, with hurdles used by the boys being taller.
“Simply cheating!! This should not be allowed,” Olympian Andy Turner tweets.
Sharron Davies, who is also an Olympian, agreed with Turner and said “This is cheating!!”
American swimmer Riley Gaines also took aim at Barnes.
‘Massachusetts girls high school track and field state championship a few weeks ago,’ she wrote, with a picture of Barnes next to her competitors. ‘Can you guess which is the male?’
Massachusetts officials have allowed transgender students to compete in the competition of the gender they identify with.
“Where there are sex-segregated classes or athletic activities, including intramural and interscholastic athletics, all students must be allowed to participate in a manner consistent with their gender identity,” the policy from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reads. “With respect to interscholastic athletics, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association will rely on the gender determination made by the student’s district; it will not make separate gender identity determinations.”
Barnes also addressed the matter during an interview with a student newspaper.
“Deal with it,” Barnes said during the interview. “Just deal with it.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: EDUCATION WEEK