The U.S. Department of Education (ED) proposed an amendment to Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments that could seriously violate parental rights.
“The proposed regulations would prohibit all forms of sex discrimination, including discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” reads the proposal.
Section 106.2 of the new rules prohibits “hostile environment harassment,” which it defines as “unwelcome sex-based conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive, that, based on the totality of the circumstances and evaluated subjectively and objectively, denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the recipient’s education program or activity.”
The proposal also redefines “sex” to include “gender identity.” This redefinition will likely be used to require schools to allow students to join sports teams according to their gender “identity” rather than their biological sex. Further, the new rule will require school staff to refer to and address students with the name and pronoun that matches their gender identity rather than their sex to avoid charges of hostile environment harassment.
The Department of Education (ED) cites the California Department of Education’s advisory that allows schools to hide a student’s gender identity from parents in the name of “safety” and “privacy.”
The California advisory links to an FAQ page that states, “With rare exceptions, schools are required to respect the limitations that a student places on the disclosure of their transgender status, including not sharing that information with the student’s parents.” It also states that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which gives parents access to their child’s school records, may not apply to students who do not want their gender identity to be shared with their parents.
Schools in California that are not already adopting students’ new pronouns and hiding them from parents will be required to under the Biden administration’s new rules.
Leading medical experts claim that using a child’s name or pronouns that correspond to his or her perceived gender identity is a “psychosocial treatment that will increase the odds of long-term persistence” of gender dysphoria. Therefore, schools are undermining parents’ right to direct their children’s mental health care.
Minors cannot be expected to understand the consequences of gender “transitioning.” Therefore, they should not be allowed to make this decision on their own. Further, parents have every right to know exactly what goes on in their child’s classroom, especially when it pertains to something as personal and important as their child’s perceived gender.
Parents alone have the right to direct the treatment of their children’s mental health. Policies that keep parents in the dark will only harm confused and vulnerable children.