The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

Should transgender students follow the FitnessGram standards of their original gender or gender of choice?

Christian Herrera (Created with Canva)
Schools have the ability to modify fitness expectations for transgender students if their emotional safety is at risk.

The half-mile run, the curl-up test, BMI, and the dreaded Pacer test are all examples of the tests done at school. Besides the sweat and hard work, there are other problems. The standards for these exams are based on age and gender. While age is fixed, gender isn’t. This escalated the question if transgender students should follow their gender assigned at birth or the one they chose.

As one knows, people have the free will to change their gender and can go to lengths to surgically become that gender physically. Yet, this article focuses on his topic without surgical operations. When it comes to P.E., everyone wants to pass the yearly exams that happen. Not only do you get bragging rights, but it is also part of your grade. Transgender people, however, can be forced to choose and follow certain standards that intercept their gender of choice.

But what gender standards should they follow? Well, the PFT Legislative Report 2023 – Testing (CA Dept of Education) states that they should follow the standards of their original gender.

“. . . if standards are to be applied to transgender, gender-neutral (non-binary), or students identifying differently than their sex at birth, FITNESSGRAM® results would be most accurate using the child’s sex at birth,” the report said.

So that’s it right? No. In that same report, the California Department of Education also states how emotional distress can affect how one’s standards are placed.

“If using the sex at birth would cause undo emotional stress upon the student, then it is up to the teacher and/or parent/guardian to determine which gender identity is the most appropriate. Teachers should maintain complete confidentiality and sensitivity when implementing and recording results for all students regardless of gender identity,” the report said.

However, P.E. teacher Caroline Triplett elaborated more on how she is required to input scores and how she does not need to put gender, only scores.

“The fitness testing scores are entered in Aeries. Student names are listed, not gender. I have to enter applicable scores on cardiovascular fitness, such as the PACER test score or the mile run. As well as muscular strength and endurance scores like the Push up and Curl up tests. I also have to include flexibility lengths like the Sit and Reach,” Triplett said.

Although there is not much that can be done now, different students have a variety of opinions and ideas about what they would do in that situation.

Sophomore Omar Pena, demonstrates how he would compromise a standard in-between the two genders to have a fair result.

“As a P.E teacher I would probably have the student choose which one standard they would like to follow or just make them follow something in between the normal standards for boys and girls,” Pena said.

Although, others have different opinions and angles on what they will do.

Freshman Suri Guevara, stated that they believe that transgender students should follow the standards of their original gender as they would be able to fit in with their genetic body’s capabilities. However, noting the possibility of change for everyone based on age, not gender.

“My opinion is that transgender individuals should follow the standards of their original gender because to my knowledge it corresponds with their body’s limits, which to my knowledge biologically haven’t changed. But I would also think that maybe our district could change the standards for all genders including transgender students,” Guevara said.

Benjamin Jimenez, a freshman transgender man, states how they would do the opposite gender standards, regardless of their physical abilities.

“Honestly I would do the boy standards. Just because I’m not physically fit enough to do the boy standards doesn’t mean another person could. My health issues shouldn’t intercept the standards. You know? They should apply to everyone who wants to be that gender,” Jimenez said.

The choice is yours, whether you’re trans or not. It’s crucial to understand your limits and choose your outcome wisely. Taking consideration of the final grade you will receive and whether it allows you to pass or not.

Jimenez said “I’m gonna fail, but that’s my fault.”

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About the Contributor
Christian Herrera Gomez, Staff Writer
I have a black German Shepherd/labrador dog. I love food and take it very seriously. I am okay with any kind of music (yes, even country).