Louisiana's education chief tells schools to ignore Biden's Title IX rule change

A female runner on the track.
A female runner on the track. | Getty Images

Louisiana's top education officials advised schools not to comply with the Biden administration's Title IX rule change, stating that the new regulation violates existing laws in Louisiana that protect female athletics and women's spaces, such as locker rooms and restrooms.

The new Title IX regulations extend the civil rights law intended to prevent discrimination based on sex to include gender identity and sexual orientation. However, the U.S. Department of Education stated Friday that the decision to prohibit schools from preventing male athletes from competing on female sports teams is still under consideration.

The final Title IX regulations are effective at the start of August.

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In a Monday letter to the state school system and school boards, Louisiana's State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley warned that schools could be forced to allow biologically male trans-identified athletes to play on girls' sports teams under the threat of potential sanctions. Brumley said that educators could be forced to use trans-identifying students' pronouns, even if doing so is in violation of their beliefs. 

"Furthermore, these new Title IX rules could be in direct contradiction with Louisiana's Fairness in Women's Sports Act, a law that affirms school-sanctioned athletic participation must be divided by biological sex unless the configuration is co-ed in nature," Brumley stated.

"While ED claims these new rules do not speak to sports, the new rules explicitly mentions athletics over 30 times," he added. "Clearly, sports in Louisiana could be impacted by the new rules and, if implemented, create a conflict with Louisiana law."

In a Wednesday statement to The Christian Post, Brumley said he is working with the Louisiana governor's and attorney general's offices to "explore every option available to challenge the Biden administration on this new rule."

In 2022, Louisiana became the 18th state to ban males from competing on female athletic teams. The Fairness in Women's Sports Act passed because Gov. John Bel Edwards did not veto or sign it within 10 days of the Secretary of the Senate delivering it to him. The bill required schools that receive state funding to segregate sports teams by sex. 

"At this time, my opposition to these new Title IX rules remains unchanged," Brumley stated. "The Title IX rule changes recklessly endanger students and seek to dismantle equal opportunities for females." 

According to the official's letter, the rule change "runs contradictory to the entire foundation of Title IX." 

"It is inevitable that there will be a legal challenge to the new rules, contesting the unprecedented unilateral expansion of the long-standing prohibition against discrimination based on 'sex' to include 'sex stereotypes, sex related characteristics (including intersex traits) pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation and gender identity,'" he wrote. "This expanded definition is unsupported by the text of Title IX, its implementing regulations, and the law's extensive congressional history and record of debate and deliberation." 

In addition to advising Louisiana schools not to alter their policies at the present moment to accommodate the rule change, Brumley said the Louisiana Department of Education recommends that schools maintain contact with their legal counsel.

The federal rule scheduled to redefine Title IX to include gender identity and sexual orientation received over 200,000 public comments within two months of its publication in the Federal Register in 2022. Critics of the rule change threatened to file lawsuits, stating that it uses "non-discrimination laws in an illegal and unconstitutional way." 

Many of the critics expressed fear that redefining the civil rights law will deprive women of equal opportunities if men are allowed to compete on female athletic teams. 

"This proposal violates genuine women's rights and attempts to silence free speech," one comment from July 2022 stated.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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