JCPS To Honor Westport Middleschooler Who Spoke Out Against Anti-Trans Sports Bill

A seventh grade transgender girl who gave a heartfelt testimony against an anti-trans sports bill to state lawmakers will be honored at the April 12 Jefferson County Board of Education Meeting for “courage, strength, and poise in participating in the civic and democratic process.”

Back in February, Fischer Wells, from Westport Middle School, spoke at a Senate committee meeting against Senate Bill 83, which would amend an existing law to add that “an athletic activity or sport designated as ‘girls’ shall not be open to members of the male sex.” It would apply to athletes from sixth grade through college.

Wells spearheaded getting the minimum number of players together for a girls field hockey team at her school.

“I really don’t want this bill to pass, because I really want to play and it will be extremely detrimental to my mental health, as well, because I know sports is a great way for me to cope with things,” Wells said during the public comment portion of the committee meeting, sitting next to her parents, in the crowded room.

JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio recommended the Board of Education recognize Wells. 

Senate Bill 83 passed through both state chambers and was sent to the desk of Gov. Andy Beshear. On Wednesday, Beshear vetoed the bill. The Republicans hold a supermajority in both the Senate and House and will be able to override the veto during the final two days of the 2022 legislative session. 

In a statement, Fairness Campaign Executive Director Chris Hartman commended Beshear for vetoing the bill and urged state lawmakers to follow his lead and rethink the piece of legislation. Hartman also alluded to Wells.

“Instead of solving Kentucky’s real problems, the politicians behind this bill have used their power to bully this student and others like her,” Hartman said. “At a previous House Committee hearing of the bill, those politicians had to fly in people from out of state to give testimony in support of the bill, because few Kentuckians would. The bill is a carbon copy of the anti-trans bills sweeping the nation this past year, which ignore the policies already in place to ensure an equal playing field for student-athletes.”

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