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Franklin Pierce University Rescinds Policy For Transgender Athletes, Following Federal Complaint

courtesy of Franklin Pierce University

Franklin Pierce University has rescinded its transgender participation and inclusion policy, as part of a resolution agreement to settle a federal complaint filed against the school. 

In 2018, Franklin Pierce established a policy that would allow transgneder women to compete on women’s teams after one year of hormone treatment, including testosterone suppression. 

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Transgender men could participate in men’s teams after obtaining NCAA permission to take testosterone as a hormone treatment. After starting treatment, transgender men couldn’t compete on women’s teams. 

The Rindge college’s policy followed guidance laid out by the NCAA in 2011 for transgender athletes. 

But in 2019, Concerned Women for America, a conservative Christian group, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights after Franklin Pierce track athlete, CeCe Tefler, a trans woman, won a national title.

That office said last week that it had concerns that Franklin Pierce’s policy to allow transgender athletes to participate in women’s sports “denies female student athletes equal athletic benefits and opportunities.”

In a statement, the university says it disagrees with the federal government’s position, but will comply. 

As part of the resolution agreement, Franklin Pierce has to post a notice on its website stating the policy is rescinded. 

On its updated compliance website, the university said, “Franklin Pierce regrets that we must remove our previously published Transgender Particpation and Inclusion Policy. We remain committed to an inclusive environment for all our students while also complying with federal law. Franklin Pierce University and the Department of Athletics will continue to support all students and student-athletes.”

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at

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