Biden’s Title IX rules deputize teachers to override parents
Team Biden’s proposed new Title IX regulations make it clear: They’re coming for your children.
The administration ostensibly drafted the rules to protect gay and transgender students from bullying and harassment, but they do nothing of the sort. In reality, President Joe Biden is handing teachers a weapon to subvert parental prerogatives.
Title IX is a simple statute that outlaws “sex discrimination” in education. It says nothing about “gender” or “gender identity.” But the Biden administration wants to put its own spin on the law and redefine “sex” to include these categories.
This change has far-reaching implications. One is that it will be used to keep parents in the dark on everything from curricular material to the fact that a child is socially transitioning at school.
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.
A mother in Washington state, for example, told me school officials asked her 11-year-old daughter if she wanted to stay in the boys’ cabin on an upcoming field trip without talking to the mother first. The regulations will give legal backing for such actions all across the country.
In many places, schools are already claiming legal authority to socially transition children without parental consent or knowledge. In Alaska, one school used Title IX as a justification for changing a child’s name and pronouns without telling her mother. Officials then revised every single school document, other than those sent to the parents, to reflect the child’s chosen male name. That name even appeared in the yearbook. When the mother found out and protested, school officials said she had no say over the matter — because of Title IX.
Perhaps most alarming is the way in which officials might use the rules to threaten parents who don’t affirm their child’s chosen identity. Because the regulations claim to apply to conduct that occurs “outside [the school’s] education program or activity or outside the United States,” schools might get the impression they can label parental conduct at home “discriminatory.”
A parent who refuses to use a child’s preferred pronouns, declines to fill a prescription for puberty blockers or decides against sending a gender-confused child to an affirming therapist thus is “discriminating” against his or her child. What is a teacher or Title IX coordinator to do in such a circumstance?
It’s easy to see how school employees might believe they’re even required to report such parents to social services. The rules say schools must “respond to a hostile environment based on sex.” Biden’s broadly written Title IX rules give the government a good-faith basis to investigate parents for creating a harmful environment for their child.
This is already happening to families around the country. A California father recently told me that his daughter’s school filed a report with Child Protective Services after officials found out he and his wife weren’t referring to their daughter by her preferred male name.
A CPS agent showed up to the school that same day and informed the parents that she’d be removing their daughter from their custody, accusing them of subjecting their daughter to “emotional damage.” It took the father about a month to get his daughter back, and she was returned only after he signed a CPS waiver vowing to use her male name moving forward.
Biden’s proposal is an invasive use of federal power to deputize teachers and school administrators to override parental decision making. And while some states have passed laws to protect parental prerogatives, the administration will claim that its federal rules take precedent.
It may be up to the courts to decide the limits of Title IX. In the meantime, we’re likely to hear even more heartbreaking stories of schools usurping parents who want the best for their kids.
Kaylee McGhee White is the deputy editor of the Washington Examiner’s Restoring America and an Independent Women’s Forum visiting fellow.