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Senate Majority Caucus weighs in on Lincoln Middle School track protest

By Matt Harvey, The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The state Senate’s Majority Caucus weighed in Tuesday night on a decision by Lincoln Middle School to sideline girl shot putters after they forfeited during the county’s middle school championship meet.

The forfeits were in protest of a court decision that cleared the way for a transgender athlete to compete against the shot putters.

The protests were followed by the students appearing with political figures at a press conference, including state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Auditor J.B. McCuskey, and several state senators and delegates.

Senate President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, issued the Senate Majority Caucus’ statement, which came after a lawsuit was filed in Harrison County Circuit Court on behalf of four of the five protesting students. Prior to that, Morrisey filed a friend of the court brief.

The lawsuit’s focus is whether Lincoln Middle School officials violated the students’ free speech rights in making the athletes ineligible for the next meet following the protest.

Harrison Circuit Judge Thomas A. Bedell is presiding over the lawsuit.

A hearing is expected in the coming days, since the suit seeking injunctive relief soon will be moot because the end of the middle school track season is rapidly approaching.

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