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Tuesday Talk*: Will Next Gen Title IX Regs Undermine Parental Authority?


To no one’s surprise when President Biden appointed Catherine Lhamon as head of the DoE Office of Civil Rights, her raison d’etre swiftly focused on undoing one of the few good things that came out of the past administration, the DeVos Title IX regs that sought to introduce some small measure of due process into the morass of campus Title IX sex tribunals. Lhamon, one of the primary architects of the Sexual Inquisition, would have none of it.

Specifically, the rule would:

  • Enshrine protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as “sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, [and] pregnancy or related conditions.”
  • Permit, but no longer require, live hearings and cross examination in Title IX investigations.
  • Expand the definition of sexual harassment.
  • Clarify the protections students, faculty, and staff have from retaliation by their  institution.
  • Require colleges to confront off-campus conduct that “creates or contributes to a hostile environment.”
  • Require certain campus employees to notify the Title IX office of possible sex discrimination, a return to broader mandatory-reporting requirements. If an incident involves students, anyone with “teaching” or “advising” responsibilities — in other words, most faculty members — must report it. Some professors have criticized mandatory reporting, saying it harms the trust they’ve built with their students.
  • Require all other faculty and staff members to provide students with the contact information of the campus Title IX coordinator, unless they’re designated as confidential resources.

This is a generous description from the Chronicle of Higher Ed, a supporter of all things woke in education. Most of the changes are undoing, in full or part, basic due process protections such as requiring hearings and cross, requiring the accused be informed of his offence and given access to the evidence against him and prohibiting “single investigator” model of one inquisitor being investigator, jury and executioner. But i digest digress.

For the first time, the proposed regulations would formalize protections against  discrimination based on “sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity” under Title IX. But the Education Department punted on the question of transgender students’ participation in athletics, saying officials would propose a separate rule in the future.

The Biden administration has interpreted Title IX as prohibiting discrimination based on these protections, but that interpretation hasn’t previously been codified.

In the interim, the Supreme Court decided Bostock v. Clayton County, which was expressly limited to Title VII (employment discrimination) cases, which was immediately ignored and applied to Title IX (sex discrimination in education) cases because of Justice Neil Gorsuch’s failure to stop at a clear and limited holding and need to explain himself using sloppy, confusing language. While the case did not, as so many pretend, hold that “sex discrimination” includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and identity, the dicta was enough for those who desperately wanted to use Bostock for their own purposes of using the word “sex” to mean anything but, to claim authority. Lhamon was such a desperate person, and never shy about claiming authority no one ever gave her.

What this means for students seems to be that they would be protected in their choices of identity, name, pronouns, gym classes, locker rooms, overnight accommodations on trips, and, potentially, sexual encounters with other students who might not be familiar with what they have under their zipper.

And what about the parents of elementary school kids? Do they still get a say under the proposed new Title IX regs?

Because this new Title IX frames gender ideology as an anti-discrimination issue, schools won’t have to seek parental permission for children to participate in lessons on choosing and changing one’s sex. Indeed, schools will very likely use Title IX’s anti-discrimination mandate to justify denying parental opt-outs from these controversial lessons.

The rules will also grant children an absolute right to use school facilities and participate in activities “consistent with their gender identity,” regardless of whether their parents agree or are even aware of said identity.

While this may seem hyperbolic, it may well prove to be what the DoE requires of schools to protect the rights of students despite their parents’ position. While the Supreme Court held parents have a fundamental right of parents to direct the care, upbringing, and education of their children, neither Lhamon nor certain LBGT activists care much about such matters. As the new regs will essentially require schools to defy this (among a great many other) court rulings, it will give rise to years of litigation and lives affected.

Is this how gay and transgender rights should be protected? Will this be limited to “rights” or will children who show any variance from the gender norm be pushed into puberty blockers and name changes? Do parents of minor children have a say in their children’s upbringing or does the public school system under Czar Lhamon now control their children’s future?

*Tuesday Talk rules apply.


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