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Opinion: Biden Title IX Rewrite Offers Moment of Introspection for Texas Public Schools

Texas Classroom | Image by Trong Nguyen/Shutterstock
Texas Classroom | Image by Trong Nguyen/Shutterstock

In the last few weeks, the cultural battle being fought inside our public schools and universities was on full display when the Biden Administration released a radical rewrite of the federal rules prohibiting discrimination based on biological sex.

The rewrite expanded this decades-old protection to include so-called “gender identity” and sexual orientation.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott was quick to denounce these changes and aptly summed up the issue when he tweeted, “Congress wrote Title IX to protect women. Biden, with no authority to do so, rewrote Title IX to protect men who identify as women.”

Abbott has also instructed the Texas Education Agency, which provides oversight and support to our public schools to ignore and disregard the latest example of federal regulatory fiat coming out of the Biden Administration.

However, Texas parents must still remain extremely vigilant. The Biden-aligned Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) has a near total monopoly on providing legal guidance to the over one thousand independent public schools in our state and has previously pushed our schools to adopt similar policies.

Just last year, TASB pushed Texas schools from the Panhandle to the coast to adopt aggressive new policies on the handling of transgender students. The organization pushed for allowing boys to participate in girls’ sports and share their private spaces. It also argued for the use of preferred pronouns for these students.

TASB’s justification? Avoiding potential federal investigations for not aligning our schools with the current far-left cultural movement that has been repeatedly rejected at the ballot box in Texas.

Now, with this latest move by the Biden Administration, TASB will surely double down on its ongoing pressure campaign to force social change onto our communities.

One need look no further than TASB’s official response to the release of the new Title IX regulations where they laughably stated that the “updated regulations are meant to clarify schools’ obligations under Title IX.”

Clarify our schools’ obligations? No. That is gaslighting of the highest order. This is in fact a dramatic rewrite and expansion of a law intended to protect against discrimination based on biological sex. It was designed to ensure young girls had access to sports and other extracurricular activities that were wholly their own—not to allow young men to invade their spaces.

TASB goes on to say this rewrite “strengthens protections for students.” Do our young girls feel “protected” with biological males in their locker rooms and showers? Do they feel “protected” playing contact sports such as soccer or wrestling with biological males? The TASB disconnect is profound.

Texas public schools should take this opportunity to seriously scrutinize the legal guidance and advice they are receiving from TASB. Trustees should question whether TASB’s values reflect the values of their unique community. In some instances, the answer will surely be yes; in most, absolutely not.

For decades there was no alternative to TASB in this space, but that is no longer true. As our schools and classrooms have increasingly become battlegrounds in our culture, local elected officials have been hungry for another voice in the room—one that reflects their values and priorities.

It takes courage to stand up for your community’s values, but you don’t have to do it alone. Unfortunately, our schools did not ask to be a front in this culture war, but it is here regardless. Trustees and parents should align with organizations that support their values. Nothing less than the next generation is on the line.

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