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Biden’s Education Dept. releases ‘Dear Educator’ letter warning teachers against trans-discrimination

Transgender
A sign outside a classroom taken in 2016. |

Just a week after the U.S. Department of Education concluded that the protections of Title IX extend to LGBT students, the Biden administration has sent a letter to schools across the nation informing them of the policy change and providing examples of actions that now constitute as discrimination.

The “Dear Educator” letter was published Wednesday, the 49th anniversary of the implementation of Title IX, which was created to provide equal opportunities for women and girls in education. Written by Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, Suzanne Goldberg, the letter informs educators about the recently issued public notice by the Department of Education, announcing that “Title IX’s protection against sex discrimination encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” 

The department made that determination based on the Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which found that “it is impossible to discriminate against a person” because of their sexual orientation or gender identity “without discriminating against that individual based on sex.” In addition to the Bostock decision, Goldberg cited “the particular vulnerability of LGBTQI+ students and the often overwhelming challenges these students face in education compared to their peers” as a rationale for the new interpretation of Title IX. 

“The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights works to ensure that Title IX’s mandate protects students in all aspects of their education, including recruitment, admissions, and counseling; financial assistance; athletics; protections from sex-based harassment, (sic) which encompasses sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence; treatment of pregnant and parenting students; discipline; equal access to classes and activities; and treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) students,” Goldberg wrote.

Goldberg vowed that the “OCR will fully enforce Title IX to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in education programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the department.” Additionally, a fact sheet about “Confronting Anti-LGBTQI+ Discrimination in Schools” accompanied the Dear Educator letter. The fact sheet provided examples of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity that the OCR could investigate.

Under one such example, “a transgender high school girl is stopped by the principal” on the way to use the girls’ bathroom. “The principal tells the student to use the boys’ restroom or nurse’s office because her school records identify her as ‘male.’” In other words, according to President Joe Biden’s Department of Education, refusing to allow a biological male who identifies as a girl to enter the girls’ bathroom constitutes discrimination under Title IX. 

In that same scenario, the trans-identified male “joins her friends to try out for the girls’ cheerleading team and the coach turns her away from the tryouts simply because she is transgender.” Based on the Department of Education’s understanding of Title IX, it is considered discriminatory to require student athletes to compete on sports teams that correspond to their biological sex as opposed to their chosen gender identity.

In another scenario, “an elementary school student with intersex traits dresses in a gender neutral way, identifies as nonbinary, and uses they/them pronouns.” In this particular example, “the teacher tells the class that there are only boys and girls and anyone who thinks otherwise has something wrong with them.” 

The characterization of this scenario, as an example of discrimination, illustrates that the Department of Education sees it as discriminatory to acknowledge the biological fact that there are two genders.

Even before the federal government implemented its new interpretation of Title IX, a teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia, was placed on leave for stating that he would not “affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa.” He was ultimately reinstated to his position by a judge, and the school district is appealing that decision. 

Conservative groups quickly panned the Department of Education’s Dear Educator letter, elaborating on the new interpretation of Title IX. “It’s an unhappy anniversary for Title IX,” said Meridian Baldacci, policy and communications strategist at the Family Policy Institute in response to the letter. 

“Today, the Biden administration single-handedly turned Title IX on its head to say that women are discriminating against men when they have concerns about men being called ‘women,’ using their locker rooms, competing on their sports teams, or taking away their championships and scholarship opportunities. That the Department of Education is demanding this in the name of ‘protecting’ students and stopping ‘discrimination’ is stunning. This move is misguided and antithetical to the purpose of Title IX,” she added. 

This is not the first time that the federal government has attempted to force schools to allow biological males who identify as females to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. Toward the end of the Obama administration, where Biden served as vice president, the Department of Education and the Department of Justice issued a joint letter requiring schools to allow trans-identified students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity as opposed to their biological sex. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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