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UT Professors Sue Over Title IX Changes

University of Texas at Austin | Image by University of College/Shutterstock
University of Texas at Austin | Image by University of College/Shutterstock

Two University of Texas at Austin professors, in conjunction with the State of Texas, are suing the U.S. Department of Education over the implementation of new Title IX regulations.

The lawsuit requests that the court prevent President Joe Biden’s new Title IX regulations from being enacted over the summer.

The UT Austin professors are Daniel A. Bonevac, a philosophy professor, and John Hatfield, a professor at the McCombs School of Business. The duo, along with the State, claim that the new Title IX rules are “substantively unlawful” and put Texas schools “in a no-win situation.”

The lawsuit claims that the new regulations “require schools to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity by allowing single-sex programs and facilities but requiring opposite-sex access to them for only those individuals purporting to have a transgender identity.”

Bonevac and Hatfield include that neither of them will “accommodate student absences from class to obtain abortions,” nor will they hire a teaching assistant who has ever violated Texas’ abortion laws.

“I have no intention of complying with the Biden Administration’s recently announced Title IX edict,” said both professors in a declaration in the lawsuit. They added that they would not adhere to any student’s request to use “they/them” pronouns.

The lawsuit ultimately calls for the court to postpone the implementation of the new rules and eventually vacate it entirely.

Gov. Greg Abbott has openly denounced the new Title IX changes, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.

In a letter issued to President Biden, Abbott wrote, “I am instructing the Texas Education Agency to ignore your illegal dictate. Your rewrite of Title IX not only exceeds your constitutional authority, it also tramples laws that I signed to protect the integrity of women’s sports by prohibiting men from competing against female athletes. Texas will fight to protect those laws and to deny your abuse of authority.”

In support of the new Title IX regulations, the Department of Education (DOE) claimed that they provide “vital protections against sex discrimination.” The agency wrote in a press release that the new rules aim to “protect against all sex-based harassment and discrimination,” “promote accountability and fairness,” and “empower and support students and families.”

“For more than 50 years, Title IX has promised an equal opportunity to learn and thrive in our nation’s schools free from sex discrimination,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “These final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights.”

While some state officials have spoken in defense of the new Title IX rules, others have not.

“Title IX exists to protect students from discrimination, sex assault and sexual harassment in our education systems,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry on X. “We want these protections to apply to everyone, regardless of gender identity.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) posted a video of him on X discussing the effects of biologically male athletes competing in female athletics with female athletes and other lawmakers at a roundtable in March called Women’s Sports Are Under Attack.

“One of the best things to ever come out of Congress is Title IX,” he commented. “We must continue to fight to ensure that every young girl who dreams of becoming a student-athlete has our support.”

The new Title IX regulations are currently planned to go into effect on August 1.

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