Florida principal and staffers to resume responsibilities after trans athlete probe

The principal and two staff members at a Florida high school who were reassigned amid a controversy involving a transgender student athlete playing on a girl’s sports team will be resuming their responsibilities after an investigation cleared them, county public schools officials said Tuesday.

James Cecil, the principal of Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, along with assistant principal Kenneth May and athletic director Dione Hester, will resume their responsibilities on Wednesday, Broward County Public Schools spokesperson Keyla Concepcion said in a statement.

Concepcion said the district’s Special Investigate Unit cleared them of “the allegations,” but said “the investigation concerning other aspects remains ongoing.”

Cecil and the staffers had been reassigned to nonschool sites after an investigation into allegations of improper student participation in sports was launched in November.

The school was later reprimanded and fined after state officials said a transgender student-athlete was allowed to play on a girl’s volleyball team for two seasons in violation of Florida law.

A Florida statute says athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls are not open to male students, and says a “statement of a student’s biological sex on the student’s official birth certificate is considered to have correctly stated the student’s biological sex at birth if the statement was filed at or near the time of the student’s birth.”

The school was fined $16,500 and was placed on administrative probation for a full calendar year.

The fine represents $500 for each of the 33 volleyball contests the transgender athlete participated in for Monarch in the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 seasons.

The school appealed the fine earlier this year.

Some Monarch High students protested the staffer reassignments and held walkouts and demonstrations in support of the student-athlete.

This story originally appeared on NBC South Florida.

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