Title IX Upended

Title IX Upended

A year ago March, a number of parents of students at Sun Prairie East High School addressed the District’s school board, expressing concern about what their daughters were telling them about an incident that occurred in the girls’ locker room.

According to Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, who got involved after a parent contacted them, after a swim class, four freshmen girls went into the girls’ locker room following a swim class and proceeded to shower in their swim suits.

The girls then saw a senior male student who is believed to have been 18 years old in the girls’ locker room. The girls say he wasn’t in their PE class. This biological male then proceeded to let them know he identified as a girl and stripped and showered in front of these young girls.

The school’s response when this issue went public was that there were conflicting stories and that, quote, “student privacy and other laws prevent the District from addressing the specific events that occurred,” and then went on to say they didn’t condone the sexes being mixed in shower rooms but also didn’t denounce what happened or take steps to pass and enforce polices that would ensure it didn’t happen again.

Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is currently investigating this incident. And that investigation is about to become even messier than it already is. 

Late last week the Biden administration, through the Department of Education issued revised changes to Title IX. This process began months ago and was held in abeyance for quite some time, in part because of public input objecting to the proposed changes. Apparently, the Department has now made its final changes. This issue actually goes back to Obama, who shortly before leaving office, issued a memo, through the Department of Education and the Department of Justice, directing all public K-12 schools and all colleges and universities accepting federal funding, to give special rights and protections to students dealing with gender confusion. When Trump became president, he rescinded the memo, which meant schools and colleges were to observe Title IX as it has been since 1973, meaning that sex as used in this law means male and female and nothing more. But Biden made a campaign promise that he would pander to the transgender agenda and turn Title IX on its head—no matter the consequences, and now he’s making good on his promise.

In the just-released Title IX revisions, sex discrimination includes discrimination based on gender identity as well as sexual orientation. That’s the set up for the rest of the changes. It’s important to understand that Title IX was authored and passed by Congress and signed into law by President Richard Nixon. These substantive, dangerous changes haven’t been authorized by Congress. They’ve been ramrodded through by a department. No court has forced these changes; they are being done by adherents to an agenda that is absolutely disastrous for our youth.

Interestingly, the one area conspicuously absent in this Title IX revision is anything that prevents K-12 schools and colleges and universities from enforcing policies that ban biological males from participating in women’s sports. Speculation is that this is not yet included because of how high-profile this issue is in this election year.

These Title IX revisions are scheduled to go into effect on August 1st. Consider the impact these regulations will have on the Sun Prairie investigation we opened with. They will give this school district and every other school district in our state all the cover they need to excuse what happened to these young girls when the 18-year-old male invaded what should be a safe, private space for them.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says the new rule makes, quote, “crystal clear that everyone can access schools that are safe, welcoming and that respect their rights.” Cardona couldn’t be more wrong. For the vast majority of students, our public schools will become unsafe, unwelcoming, and totally disrespecting of their rights under this illegal and ill-conceived revision of Title IX. Fortunately, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty assures us there will be legal challenges of these changes.

I’d love to think what happened in Sun Prairie East High School last spring won’t happen anywhere else in our state, but given the culture and these outrageous Title IX revisions, no one should assume it couldn’t or wouldn’t happen in their school district. Bottom line: parents beware; your children are at risk.

Biden Rule Would Override State Laws Protecting Girls’ Sports

Biden Rule Would Override State Laws Protecting Girls’ Sports

Once again, the Biden administration is promoting mass delusion at the expense of women’s rights. Males have stolen at least 30 titles from female athletes between 2003 and 2022, and if the Biden administration has its way, many more titles could be stolen in the near future. 

Last week, Biden officials announced a proposed regulation allowing students to participate in sports teams “consistent with their gender identity.” In other words, boys who “identify” as girls could compete among and against girls in girls’ and women’s sports.

The rule also lowers the age of application to kindergarten, dangerously attempting to normalize the idea that elementary-aged children can fully understand the implications of “identifying” as the opposite sex.

The regulation would override state laws protecting female student athletes from being forced to compete against or share a locker room with men. It would also bar federally-funded schools from implementing a “categorical ban” on boys who “identify” as girls from participating in girls’ sports.

Currently, 19 states have passed legislation to protect women’s sports in recent months, but those new laws would all be nullified with Biden’s new proposal. 

While the Biden administration claims it will allow schools some “flexibility,” pro-family advocates believe schools will face federal intervention over poorly-defined offenses. For example, the proposed rule states that schools may only lock men out of the women’s locker rooms if it is “substantially related to the achievement of an important educational objective,” and schools must “minimize harms” to any student excluded from participating in sports with the opposite sex.

“Without a doubt, institutions are going to err on the side of ‘inclusion,’ because they fear the wrath of the Education Department — thus, achieving the Department’s end goal while allowing them to maintain plausible deniability that they coerced districts into doing so,” said Nicole Neily, founder of Parents Defending Education. 

Title IX was initially implemented to protect opportunities that were previously denied to women and girls. However, the Biden administration’s new rule would unravel Title IX. If it takes effect, women’s sports, at least in schools, could be eradicated. Sports will soon “be divided into a team of men and a team of folks who used to be men, while women are sidelined from the opportunity to compete,” as Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) puts it.

Biological realities tell us that it’s entirely illogical to allow men to compete against women in sports and pretend that the competition is fair. When competing against women, men boast an advantage even greater than if an athlete were taking performance enhancing drugs. Men have 10-30 percent greater muscle strength, greater bone density, better oxygen efficiency, larger heart and lungs, and 10 percent more overall body mass, among other advantages. 

“The Department of Education’s rewriting of Title IX degrades women and tells them that their athletic goals and placements do not matter,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Christiana Kiefer. “The Biden administration’s proposed rules are a slap in the face to female athletes who deserve equal opportunity to compete in their sports.” 

Wisconsin legislators last session introduced bills designed to protect women’s and girls’ sports at both the K-12 and collegiate levels. The Assembly passed the bills, but the Senate did not take either of them up. In this current session, no bills dealing with this issue have yet been introduced.

After the Biden administration officially publishes the rule, Americans will have 30 days to provide comments before officials decide if the rule will be officially adopted. We will be sure to let you know when the 30-day window opens. Conservatives must make it clear that we will not allow the respect and dignity of female athletes to be violated at the behest of gender-confused men and a delusional administration. 

WILL fights back against the DOE’s Title IX proposal, offers model policies that provide hope

WILL fights back against the DOE’s Title IX proposal, offers model policies that provide hope

President Joe Biden’s Department of Education is attempting to radically re-define “sex” in Title IX to expand the law’s protections to “transgender” individuals. Thankfully, many voices are putting up a fight. 

Under Title IX, schools cannot receive federal funding if they discriminate against any student on the basis of sex. According to a press release, the DOE wants to amend Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments so that “sex” includes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” 

As a result, any space, program, building, bathroom, locker room, or sports team that is separated by sex would be forced to accommodate biological men who believe they are, or “identify” as, women. Schools that rightfully refuse to allow biological males into women’s bathrooms could lose their federal funding.

However, there is hope. The proposed changes have not yet taken effect, and parents, the attorneys general of several states, and organizations like Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) are working to ensure that they never do. 

The DOE received over 184,000 public comments from parents concerned about their children’s safety and the erasure of women. This is a record number of parents and other concerned citizens taking a stand for the rights of their families. It shows that parents are paying attention and are willing to take action to protect their children, which is excellent news ahead of a crucial election. 

Similarly, WILL submitted a comment to the Department of Education detailing three significant concerns about the proposed changes.  

“First, the reinterpretation of the definition of sex within Title IX is an illegal action by an executive agency because the proposed regulations are antithetical to the intent of the law – namely, to protect and support women and girls. Second, the proposed regulations will have a chilling effect on speech, including speech motivated by sincere religious beliefs, and academic freedom. Third, the proposed regulations undermine parental rights. WILL has requested that the Department respond to each of these concerns and reject the proposed rules,” reads WILL’s comment. 

Wisconsin Family Action president Julaine Appling also submitted a comment on behalf of the organization. Our comments were along the same line as WILL’s.

WILL also has model policies available to school districts, including a model policy on student pronouns that the Education Department should take a note from. “Parents have the right to determine the names and pronouns that staff use to refer to their children while at school. Staff shall not refer to or address minor students by a different name or pronouns that differ from their biological sex, during school hours, without written authorization from a parent,” begins the model policy on student pronouns. 

Another model policy establishes parents’ right to review instructional materials and related documents: “Parents shall have the right to access, upon request, the instructional materials used in the education of their children. In this policy, “instructional materials” means instructional content that is provided to a student, regardless of its format, including printed or representational materials, audio-visual materials, and materials in electronic or digital formats.”

We need leaders on school boards and legislators who will enact policies like these to protect children and parents’ rights—not undermine them. We have an opportunity to do just that this fall; let’s not waste it!

In the meantime, please pray that the efforts to block the DOE’s radical proposal are effective. Women’s rights, parental rights, free speech, religious liberty, and academic freedom are on the line; but we should remain hopeful because of the many voices that are fighting back and offering a better way forward.