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Officials condemn Utah school board member over post questioning student's gender

A person holding a smartphone
Towfiqu Photography
Getty Images
Cline’s post included a screenshot of an advertisement for an upcoming basketball game and the caption "Girls basketball..."

Utah State School Board member Natalie Cline posted photos Tuesday to her Facebook account that, for many, appeared to question the gender of a female high school basketball player.

Cline’s now-deleted post included a screenshot of an advertisement for an upcoming basketball game and the caption, "Girls' basketball..."

Commenters under the post accused the student of being transgender and posted other personal information about her. The student in question is not transgender.

In a statement released Wednesday, Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson urged the State Board of Education to hold Cline accountable for her posts.

Cline has since removed the post and responded with a message on Facebook saying, “My deepest apologies for the negative attention my post drew to innocent students and families.”

She continued saying she never claimed the student was transgender and said, “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.”

You can find the full text of her statement here.

In their statement, Cox and Henderson said, “The last thing our children need is an elected official harassing them on social media. Sadly, this is not the first time that board member Cline has embarrassed the state of Utah and the Utah State Board of Education.”

In a statement issued by the State Board of Education Thursday, the Board said while it has no power to unseat an elected official, if it determines discipline is warranted it will follow procedures in the Board Bylaws.

Anna grew up begging her mom to play music instead of public radio over the car stereo on the way to school. Now, she loves radio and the power of storytelling through sound. While she is happy to report on anything from dance concerts to laughter practice, her main focus at UPR is political reporting. She is studying Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University and wants to work in political communication after she graduates. In her free time, she spends time with her rescue dog Quigley and enjoys rock climbing.