Oklahoma public schools now require a sworn statement to verify a student’s sex assigned at birth to determine their eligibility to compete in school sports, enforcing a state law passed earlier this year.
Last week, a photo of an affidavit issued by Woodall Public Schools went viral after a Twitter user shared it online. The form, which is part of the school’s 2022-2023 athletic policy (pdf), asks a parent or guardian to prove their child’s biological sex at birth in the presence of a notary before the student can compete in athletics.
Ginger Knight, superintendent at Woodall Public Schools, confirmed to NBC News that the district is required by state law to have student-athletes complete the form.
It comes after a bill Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) signed in March, which requires youth athletic teams to be designated based on biological sex, rather than gender identity. The move was to ban biologically male students, including transgender students, from playing on school teams or winning awards designed for females.
“The reality is: men are biologically different than women,” the governor said upon signing SB2, the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” (pdf) into law on March 30.
“Men have more muscle mass, their bones are larger and denser, they have larger lungs and wider airways. These are physical advantages men have over women on the field, in the pool, on the track, or on the court,” he continued. “It’s just not fair.”
The legislation says that the parent or legal guardian of a student who competes on a school athletic team shall sign an affidavit acknowledging the biological sex of the student at birth, prior to the beginning of each school year.
The requirement applies to students from kindergarten through college. If the student is over 18 years of age, the student must sign the affidavit themselves.
“When it comes to sports and athletics, girls should compete against girls. Boys should compete against boys,” Stitt said. “And let’s be very clear: that’s all this bill says.”
Oklahoma became the 13th U.S. state to pass such a bill. Eighteen other states so far have banned transgender athletes from competing in public school sports. Schools in Kentucky and Idaho may also request by law a student’s health care provider to verify the student’s sex assigned at birth with a similar affidavit.