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Utah School Board Member Under Fire For Falsely Alleging High School Student Was Transgender: “There’s Really No Excuse”

Calls for the resignation of Utah state school board member Natalie Cline have intensified after she falsely suggested that a girl playing on a high school basketball team was transgender in a now-deleted Facebook post.

Allegations and Consequences

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Natalie Cline’s Facebook post sparked online harassment against the girl, prompting Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and other leaders to demand Cline’s resignation.

Family’s Response

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The girl’s family condemned the incident, emphasizing the harm caused by exposing a minor to online bullying and threats.

Adult Bullying a Child

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Her father wrote on social media, “They’re putting pictures of other people’s children on the internet and then allowing people to just bully a child. It’s an adult bullying a child. It doesn’t matter what their agenda is or what they think they thought they thought — there’s really no excuse that can merit putting another person’s child on social media and then allowing them to be attacked.”

Apology and Explanation

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Cline apologized on Facebook, attributing her speculation about the girl’s gender to her physical build but faced criticism for her remarks.

Living in Strange Times

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“We live in strange times when it is normal to pause and wonder if people are what they say they are because of the push to normalize transgenderism in our society,” Cline wrote.

Cline’s “Suspicions”

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She later added, “We most certainly recognize that there is great variety within females when it comes to physical characteristics, and of course, we are accepting of these differences and want all girls to feel welcome in school sports. Sadly, our good faith efforts to be accepting of differences has, at times, been taken advantage of causing a loss of trust, which leads to suspicion about girls who are more buff than most.”

Reactions from LGBTQ Activists

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LGBTQ activists highlighted the impact of transphobia on people of all gender identities and condemned the policing of gender norms.

Made Up Ideals

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Leroy B. Thomas, the communications director at the National Center for Transgender Equality, told ABC News, “Both transgender and cisgender women have been experiencing ridicule, rejection, assault, and even being killed for not meeting this made-up ideal” of what defines a woman.

Political Response

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Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson denounced Cline’s post as “inexcusable”, joining calls for accountability from the Utah State Board of Education.

Hysteria Lead to Violence

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Advocacy group Equality Utah said, “No child, be they straight, gay, or transgender, should be mocked and humiliated by elected officials. America has a tragic history of moral panics leading to the humiliation and expulsion of minorities from public life. Hysteria often leads to violence.”

Board’s Statement

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The Utah State Board of Education expressed concern over Cline’s actions and pledged prompt action, but clarified its limited authority to remove an elected official.

Calls for Resignation

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Advocacy groups like Equality Utah called for Cline’s resignation, emphasizing the need to protect children from public humiliation by elected officials.

Historical Context

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Equality Utah highlighted the dangers of moral panics and the historical mistreatment of minorities, urging against further discrimination and violence.

Support for the Family

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The family of the girl subjected to false allegations received support from various quarters, advocating for the protection of minors from online abuse.

Pressure for Accountability

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As demands for accountability mount, attention turns to the Utah State Board of Education’s response and the potential repercussions for Cline.

Moving Forward

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Amid calls for resignation and disciplinary action, the incident prompts reflection on the role of public officials in fostering inclusive and respectful communities.

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