Utah Official Gets Censured, Stripped of Assignments

(RepublicanDaily.org) – An official of the Utah School Board has been censured after suggesting that a member of a girls’ high school basketball team in the state was transgender.

Natalie Cline, a member of the state’s school board, implied that a member of the girls’ basketball team from a high school in Salt Lake County was trans when she posted a picture of the girl on social media with the caption, “’Girls’ basketball…” The thing was, the girl was not transgender, and was bullied as a result of the post. Cline’s post has since been taken down.

After conducting an investigation into the matter, the board of education of the state voted to censure Cline by taking away her committee assignments and issuing a call for her to step down from her post. The board said that Cline had disrespected the privacy of the student and portrayed the same student in a negative light. Her actions have also been condemned by Utah Governor Spencer Cox and Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson.

In an op-ed for local news outlet The Salt Lake Tribune, the parents of the girl, Al and Rachel van der Beek, wrote that Cline “targeted” and “blatantly harmed” their daughter by failing to check the information she thought had before posting on social media and “mocking and spreading rumors and gossip.” They said that as a result of Cline’s actions, their daughter, whom they wrote is biologically female and identifies as female, became the subject of “hateful and despicable comments,” and “unwarranted judgment, [and] ignorance.”

Cline has since apologized for what she called “poor judgement,” adding that the harassment and hate the girl received was “completely unintended.”

However, the Utah School Board member says that she has no intention of vacating her post, and defended her actions by saying that she only wanted to stimulate “conversation” about transgenders and athletic policy. Cline has also said that she intends to run for re-election.

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