Biden admin introduces legislative proposal to address how schools respond to sex discrimination: report

Biden admin introduces legislative proposal to address how schools respond to sex discrimination: report
Pride Parade (Wikimedia Commons).

The Biden administration has introduced a proposed piece of legislation that would address how schools are required to respond to sex discrimination. According to The New York Times, the president and his administration are aiming to roll back a number of controversial policies enacted during the Trump era.

Those policies, per NY Times, "narrowed the scope of campus sexual misconduct investigations and cementing the rights of transgender students into law." The Biden-led proposal also takes aim at a sweeping rule that was enacted under the leadership of former U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos "which aimed to set a precedent for how K-12 schools and collegiate institutions investigate incidents of sexual assault on school campuses."

NY Times notes:

The Trump administration rules, issued in 2020, narrowed the definition of sexual harassment, expanded the due process rights of students accused of harassment and assault, relieved schools of some legal liabilities, and required schools to hold courtroom-like proceedings called 'live hearings' that allowed cross-examination of parties. Ms. DeVos’s rules did not define 'sex-based harassment,' per se, and the administration had taken the position that Title IX did not extend to gender identity.

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The Biden administration has criticized the current rules arguing that those protocols have “weakened protections for survivors of sexual assault and diminished the promise of an education free from discrimination.”

On Thursday, June 23, Education Secretary Miguel A. Cardona released a statement about the proposed changes as he explained the changes that would be incorporated under the new rule.

“Our proposed changes would fully protect students from all forms of sex discrimination,” Cardona said on Thursday as he added that the new provisions would “make it clear, those protections include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Cardona also explained how the evolution of athletic teams also requires a proactive change to ensure discrimination is not accepted.

“The department recognizes that standards for students participating in male and female athletic teams are evolving in real-time,” Dr. Cardona said. “And so we decided to do a separate rule-making on how schools may determine eligibility while upholding Title IX’s nondiscrimination guarantee.”

He added, “I firmly reject efforts to politicize these protections and sow division in our schools."

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