“We will not comply.” Those were the four words that Governor Rob DeSantis had to say about the new Title IX regulations. The Independent Women’s Forum and Alliance Defending Freedom are planning to sue the Biden administration for the regulations flagrant disregard for women’s rights. Other lawsuits are rolling out as you read this. Megyn Kelly, famous news talk show host posted to social media: “Do not comply. Fight.” A superintendent in Louisiana wrote to the school board members across the state, “The Title IX rule changes recklessly endanger students and seek to dismantle equal opportunities for females….Further, it remains my position that schools should not alter policies or procedures at this time.”

More states join him with similar statements: Wyoming, Florida, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. And now Attorneys General from Louisiana, Idaho, Mississippi, Texas, and Montana are suing the United States Department of Education. Multiple organizations have staunchly denounced and condemned the regulations.

The people are angry, and they are voicing that anger and even putting it into action in some cases.

Is their anger valid? Or is this just more of the same: the political right getting riled up about something only they care about, and before the week is out it will have dissipated and moved onto something new? Some of you may be hearing about these regulations for the first time, or may be wondering, what’s the big deal?

What Title IX is and what it does

Standing on the legislative floor, delivering what would be seen as a controversial speech for that era, Representative Martha W. Griffiths explained to the House of Representatives that, “It is shocking and outrageous that universities and colleges, using Federal money, are allowed to continue treating women as second-class citizens, while the Government hypocritically closes its eyes.” This was in 1970, and two years later the inflamed Title IX statute would be tacked onto an already controversial piece of legislation regarding busing and segregation.

The statute went by for the most part unnoticed, due to the bigger issue of civil rights and the Equal Rights Amendment, but nevertheless it still took Congress three months to come to a consensus regarding the language.

This was what was eventually agreed upon: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

So, what regulations came from the original Title IX statute of 1972?

  • Each federally funded school system had to appoint one employee to be their designated Title IX expert. This employee will see to it that all Title IX regulations are being followed by the school and will investigate any and all claims of sex discrimination.
  • The employees and students must know how and where to find the school’s Title IX expert.
  • Likewise, the grievance procedures following a claim of sex discrimination, and additionally the nondiscrimination policies must be made available to the public.
  • Schools had to do a self-evaluation and rectify where they fell short in their practices.

Where there was an incongruency in sex participation for programs and activities, the school was to take any necessary affirmative actions to remedy the “bias” occurring.

Title IX spawned from the civil rights and feminist movements happening prior to its creation, and mirrored the Title VII act that prohibited any discrimination happening on the basis of race, religion, or national origin when hiring a new employee. Title IX aimed to level the playing field for women and girls in their education and unintentionally, sports, and it applies to about 17,600 local school districts and more than 5,000 postsecondary institutions, libraries, charter schools, and museums.

In 1972, girls in sports were a significantly small number, with high schools across the country only seeing numbers of 295,015. In 2022, fifty years after the fact, the numbers were at 3,402,733. They went from 7% to 43% representation in the athletic world.

Twenty years after Title IX’s creation, in 1997, The U.S. Department of Education said regarding Title IX, “Women now make up the majority of students in America’s colleges and universities in addition to making up the majority of recipients of master’s degrees. Indeed, the United States has become a world leader in giving women the opportunity to receive a higher education.”

Now, more than fifty years after the historic legislation, we are backsliding and undermining that commitment to women. On April 19, 2024, the U.S. Department of Education delivered a press release explaining the amendments being made to Title IX, but not once were women and girls mentioned. What was once a piece of legislation strong enough to change the lives of women and girls around the nation, has become a watered down and diluted version of itself.

President Biden, in his statement acknowledging the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX two years ago, said, “As we look to the next fifty years, I am committed to protecting this progress and working to achieve full equality, inclusion, and dignity for women and girls, LGBTQI+ Americans, all students, and all Americans.” It cannot be said enough: What was once the legislation that acted as a stronghold for the female population, is now the piece of legislation that will demean what it means to be a woman – harming, rather than helping, women.

The danger in the new Title IX

It can’t be sugar coated, Title IX has always had dangerous aspects and has not always been in the best interest of quality education. It’s been weaponized time and time again, and now its point has just been sharpened with these new regulations.

The Department of Education states this of the new regulations: “The Department therefore issues these final regulations to provide greater clarity regarding: the definition of “sex-based harassment”; the scope of sex discrimination, including recipients’ obligations not to discriminate based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity; and recipients’ obligations to provide an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex.” As ambiguous as all that is, it’s important the public get a clearer picture of what exactly has changed and what it means for them.

  • Prohibits discrimination based on “gender identity”

In the original Title IX statute, “gender identity” was not included once. Binary sex was to be protected, but not the state of gender confusion. Now, the Biden administration seeks to expand the definition of ‘sex’ in ‘sex discrimination’ to include “gender identity.” This, in part, stems from the infamous Bostock V. Clayton County case where the court ruled that to refuse employment to a gay or trans-identifying individual is sex discrimination based off Title VII. This new Title IX interpretation creates a situation where should you decline to call a student or teacher by their preferred pronouns, you could face discrimination charges, including other assaults on freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

  • The re-definition of “sex discrimination” is a threat to parental rights

It makes the gap between “school life” and “home life” even larger. A child will go to school where their teacher will use their preferred pronouns and their new name, and then they will go home to parents who do not. And the school isn’t required to alert the parents to the double life their child is leading. Parents will not have a right to control who is in their child’s school bathroom or locker room, or who is in the same hotel room with their child while on a school trip.

  • An expansion of the term “sex-harassment”

The regulations now include “hostile environment” language – expanding the scope of “sex-harassment.” If a student is feeling his/her educational environment is not conducive to learning due to what they deem as offensive comments, they can charge you with sexual harassment.

  • Enlarges the jurisdiction of the Title IX office within your school

Even if an allegedly sex-based misconduct happens outside of school, if it is reported at school, an investigation can be opened. As stated in the new regulations, “Also clarifies that a recipient has an obligation to address a sex-based hostile environment under its education program or activity even when some conduct alleged to be contributing to the hostile environment occurred outside the recipient’s education program or activity of outside the United States.”

  • A lack of notice as to what you are being charged with

Now, when a student is being brought in to be questioned and interviewed about sexual harassment charges, they may or may not have been involved in, they do not need to be told the nature of the accusation. These students will be going into these interviews blind and expected to adequately defend themselves.

  • Credibility to a harassment claim must be given even if the complainant refuses to answer questions.

If the complainant comes in saying he/she experienced discrimination, yet refuses to answer any further questioning, under the new 2024 regulations he/she is still to be believed. The authorities are allowed to give less weight to such a testimonial but must believe the event happened.

  • Allows boys who are confused about their gender into spaces designated for girls

If a boy who adheres to all the sexist stereotypes about women desires to go into a girl’s school bathroom or locker room, he can do just that. If a male chooses to play on a school female sports teams, he is allowed to do it. And if anyone pushes back against this, they would be viewed as discriminating against that male’s gender identity.

These are just seven of many more changes to the Title IX statute. For more, click here.

What does this all mean for you?

You are no longer an innocent bystander, watching things play out from the sidelines. This will affect you, whether you like it or not, and now is not the time to turn a blind eye. Do you have a child? Are you a teacher? Are you on the school board? Are you a vendor doing business with an educational institution? Do you go to the library or museums near you? These are all connections to federally funded entities under the jurisdiction of Title IX.

Do you hold a place of employment in a business of fifteen or more people? Because employment such as this has you under the jurisdiction of Title VII, a closely connected and intimately followed statute for Title IX (Title VII was mentioned over ten times in the new Title IX regulations). And finally, do you care about what is happening in the institutions that are teaching the future generations?

If you do not adhere to the transgender ideology or the sexual orientation frenzy, you will stand the chance of having your beliefs attacked. For a student, you can be suspended, expelled, have a mark on your transcript, and/or a criminal investigation going at the same time depending on the severity of the charge. For anyone else, you can lose your job. Due process is almost nonexistent in a Title IX proceeding. If you are in a state whose attorney general is taking a stand, join in and write letters of support and offer to help in any way you can. Write to your school boards and voice your displeasure.

We cannot subject our women and girls to this direct violation of their rights and invasion of privacy. We cannot subject our educational system to this blatant disregard for freedom of speech and belief. The more we allow ourselves to be pushed the harder it is to gain the ground that has been lost.