A group of prominent Senate Republicans fears the Biden administration's proposal to extend Title IX protections to transgender students will create an "unsafe" and "unfair" environment for biological girls in schools.
In a July 28 letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Josh Hawley, R-Mo.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., demanded more information from the White House regarding the proposed Title IX extensions.
The GOP senators expressed various concerns about the reported changes, characterizing the proposal as a means "to force a radical gender ideology" into classrooms.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Title IX statute. The original ruling from 1972 "prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government."
The Biden administration wants to extend protections to LGBTQI+ students, in terms of prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, sex characteristics, or gender identity — which could be different than a person's assigned sex at birth.
"Your interpretation of Title IX will undermine that law's very purpose by making schools and sports unsafe and unfair for women and girls," the senators' letter reads.
In addition, the senators posed a number of policy questions to Secretary Cardona:
- Would denying Lia Thomas, the University of Pennsylvania swimmer who recently became the first transgender woman to win an NCAA title, access to the girls' locker room constitute a violation of Title IX?
- How would the new Title IX protections affect other federal statutes — such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) — that gives parents access to their children's educational records?
- Would schools be allowed to deny parents access to records that include "sensitive information" about their child's gender identity?
The Republican senators are requesting a response from the Department of Education by Aug. 15.
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