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PAUL: “The Office of Civil Rights sent a letter to Connecticut saying that boys can’t compete with girls in sports — or to allow boys to compete in girls sports. If you’re confirmed, will you enforce that Office of Civil Rights opinion?”
CARDONA: “Hello, senator. Thank you for the question. I understand that there are a lot of concerns about that. It’s — if confirmed, it’s my responsibility and my privilege to make sure that we’re following civil rights of all students. And that includes activities that they may engage in high school or athletics.”
PAUL: “What do you think in general about boys running in girls’ track meets, like they’ve been doing in Connecticut?”
CARDONA: “I think that it’s critically important the education systems and educators respect the rights of all students, including students who are transgender, and that they are afforded the opportunities that every other student has to participate in extracurricular activities.”
PAUL: “Does it bother you that the top 20% of boys running in track meets beat all of the girls in the state and that it would completely destroy girls athletics, that girls are being pushed out, they don’t make the finals in the state meet, get college scholarships, it’s really detrimental to girls sports. Do you worry about having boys running girls’ track meets?”
CARDONA: “I recognize and appreciate the concerns and the frustrations that are expressed. As commissioner of education, I’ve had conversations with families who have felt the way you just described it, and families of students who are transgender. So I understand that this is a challenge. I look forward to working with you and others —“
PAUL: “Do you think it’s fair to have boys running in the girls’ track meet?”
CARDONA: “I think it’s appropriate for — I think it’s the legal responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities, and this includes students who are transgender.”
PAUL: “So you don’t have a problem then with boys running in girls’ track meets, swimming meets? You’re okay then with boys competing with girls?”
CARDONA: “Respectfully, Senator, I think I answered the question. I believe schools should offer the opportunity for students to engage in extracurricular activities, even if they’re transgender. I think that’s their right.”
PAUL: “All right. Well, a lot of us think that’s bizarre. Not very fair. I come from a family that has a lot of girls who have been — have competed in college athletics, been state champions. And frankly, you know, some boy that’s 6’2” competing against my 5’4” niece doesn’t sound very fair. I think most people in the country think it’s bizarre. You know, it’s just completely bizarre and unfair that people — and you’re going to run the Department of Education, you’ve got no problem with it? That concerns me. And I think it’s this kind of thing is going to lead to really just the vast majority of America just wondering who are these people that think it’s okay, from what planet are you from? I mean, to think it’s okay that boys would compete with girls in a track meet and that somehow would be fair. I wonder where our feminists are on this? I wonder where the people who supported women’s sports are on this? Are we going to be okay with hulking 6’4” guys wrestling against girls? It just makes no sense whatsoever. And so I think the fact that you seem to be afraid to answer the question or you basically do answer the question by saying it’s okay without saying it’s okay, really is a statement to a real problem we have and a disconnect between what middle America and what most Americans actually believe. I even believe most Democrats don’t believe girls should run in a boys’ track meet — boys should run in a girls’ track meet. So I’m disappointed in the answer and I just I can’t imagine that we’re going to have a policy like that nationally.”
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