South Carolina’s Education Chief Rejects New Federal Title Ix Changes

South Carolina’s Education Chief Rejects New Federal Title Ix Changes

The education chief of South Carolina is advising school districts to ignore new federal Title IX rules that the Biden administration has issued.

State Education Superintendent Ellen Weaver described the rule change as “deeply troubling” in a letter to district boards and superintendents on Tuesday. She said it might be illegal under both state and federal law and would probably be contested in court.

On Friday, April 19, the U.S. Department of Education released significant changes to the federal statute that forbids sex-based discrimination in schools receiving federal funding. The new regulations, which go into force on August 1, undo a lot of the changes that former President Donald Trump made to lessen the definition of sexual harassment. The amendment then goes one step further and includes gender identity and sexual orientation in the definition of sex discrimination.

“Under the pretext of “fairness,” the U.S. Department of Education aims to include “sex stereotypes, sex-associated features, pregnancy or related circumstances, sexual orientation, and gender identity” under the long-standing ban against discrimination based on “sex.” Writing in the letter that the SC Daily Gazette obtained, was Weaver. This is fiat; it is not fairness.

The letter is the second one a state education department director has sent out this week. Monday, the superintendent of Louisiana sent out a similar statement.

LGBTQ groups retorted that Weaver’s letter betrays a lack of empathy and understanding, especially for kids who identify as transgender, nonbinary, or intersex and who have seen their entire existence politicized.

“We want our schools to be safe, fair places where every kid can be themselves without worrying about being harassed or discriminated against,” Alliance For Full Acceptance executive director Chase Glenn said. Being the top school administrator in our state, Superintendent Weaver should make sure that all children have equal rights and protections as well as a secure environment in which to learn and be themselves, even if she may not personally support the rights of LGBTQ+ students. The obvious contempt for the Title IX regulation indicates to me that our superintendent does not, regrettably, have the best interests of all students at heart.

The regulation shift, according to Weaver, violates free speech by forcing teachers and children to use a child’s preferred pronoun. According to her, the regulation endangered female students by mandating transgender kids to share sleeping quarters on overnight trips or use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Before informing school officials her department advised districts not to adopt the regulation at this time, Weaver wrote, “We fully anticipate this rule will be tied up in litigation for some time and, eventually, will be struck down or modified, in whole or in part, by the federal courts.”

Weaver continued by speculating that changes would also affect athletics. Among the 24 states to have legislation barring transgender student-athletes from participating on teams that align with their gender identity is South Carolina.

This approach would be prohibited under a second regulation that the Biden administration has not yet finalized.

Legislators in the state are also considering a plan that would mandate school personnel to tell parents if their child asks to be addressed by a pronoun other than their natal sex in addition to outlawing hormone therapies for transgender youth. Should the plan be enacted into law, it may be challenged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *