President Biden’s proposed Title IX rule changes continue to stir up growing controversy and have generated a growing number of public comments from parents. Parents have expressed concern about their children’s safety in schools and what the amendments could mean for women’s sports.
The Biden administration’s proposed new regulations, coming on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which bans sex-based discrimination in schools, look to expand the protections to include gender identity and sexual orientation.
The Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies recently released a study that highlighted what they termed the “Dirty Dozen Defects” of the draft of the new regulations. The group said those “defects” had angered parents, including those requiring colleges and schools to allow biological males to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their “gender identity” and compete in girls’ sports.
The public comment period recently ended the public comment period for the new Title IX proposals. A record-breaking number of comments — over 184,000 — sounded off on the rule to redefine sex.
One parent wrote, “Your rule changes will destroy girls’ sports. It will no longer exist. Your rule changes will subject girls to boys in their private spaces. Your rule changes will perpetuate the spread of confused children who claim to be another gender to fit in.”
Communication and technology officer for No Left Turn in Education, Yael Levin-Sheldon, said she commented through the Defense of Freedom Institute’s portal about four main commenting categories — women’s sports, freedom of speech, parental rights and due process.
“The obvious concern I would say is that Title IX was made specifically to make a space for women, so adding gender identity to it pretty much voids it,” said Levin-Sheldon. “As a mom…the clear usurpation of parental rights that basically a child…the schools are assuming the responsibility of in loco parentis and acting as if they are the parents or legal guardians of the child will be able to hide anything they want from the parents.”
People from all age ranges spoke out against the controversial provisions
“For fifty years, Title IX has provided important protections and opportunities for women by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex,” said one commenter. “While parents across the country are demanding the rejection of ‘woke’ policies, the Department of Education instead has chosen to hijack Title IX to force gender ideology on children without their parent’s knowledge or approval. This proposed rule is a lawless interpretation and is a complete overreach by the Department of Education. As a 71-year-old woman who has cherished Title IX, this is abhorrent and must be stopped. Please do the right thing and oppose the Biden Regime.”
Other commenters threatened to file lawsuits. “You are using non-discrimination laws in an illegal and unconstitutional way, and if this hits my kids’ school, we will file a lawsuit.”
“I think that it’s an absolute certainty that the administration proceeds with the proposed rule as written…, particularly in regards to gender identity, but also as it applies to many of the due process provision changes, there will absolutely be litigation,” said Robert Eitel, President of the Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies. “And litigation will be filed not only by students with appropriate standing but also the states.”
Catherina E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, provided a statement to Fox News Digital about the comments submitted. “We appreciate each of the commenters for taking the time to share views about the proposed amendments to the Department’s Title IX regulations. We look forward to reviewing each and every comment to help inform the development of the final regulations. The promise of Title IX remains as vital today as it has been over its five decades, and the Department is committed to its full and fair enforcement.”
Biden’s Title IX proposals make changes to former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ 2020 changes to due process rules, which previously held the record for public comments. According to the White House, DeVos’ changes “weakened protections for survivors of sexual assault and diminished the promise of an education free from discrimination.”
According to Eitel, the Biden administration’s proposals would eliminate the requirement that postsecondary schools must have live hearings — unless it is required by state law — with the right of cross-examination by advisors. The administration’s proposal would also bring back what is referred to as the single investigator model, where the same investigator would take the complaint, conduct an investigation into the matter, interview the witnesses, develop the case file, commence any Title IX disciplinary process needed, and then decide whether or not there need to be penalties imposed.
When asked if the record-setting number of comments on the Title IX proposals could convince the Biden administration to reconsider or withdraw controversial provisions, Eitel said it was “possible, but improbable” because “there is a core constituency that is demanding this change.”