You hear about Title IX a lot when it comes to athletics, but this 45 year old amendment covers so much more. It states that, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” So, it’s kind of a big deal.
Under the Obama administration, the Office for Civil Rights issued Title IX guidance in 2011, 2014, and 2016 that clarified the responsibilities of schools to prevent and address sexual harassment and assault and protecting transgender students from discrimination. That guidance has been instrumental in protecting equal access to education regardless of gender, gender identity, or gender expression, but the Trump administration overturned that guidance in February.
That doesn’t change the fact that Title IX still legally protects students from gender-based violence and discrimination. But it does take away a powerful tool that trans students and their families had to help them advocate for themselves, and also sends schools a chilling message that discrimination is okay.
It was reported that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos actually would have preferred the guidance stay in place, but Jeff Sessions got his way and DeVos fell in line. Whatever she really thought, now, she’s posing a full-blown risk to the future of Title IX. By saying the administration should relinquish the responsibility of enforcing Title IX to the states, students across the country are at risk.
Help fight this attack on vulnerable students by getting involved with the #DearBetsy campaign at dearbetsyix.com. There you will find the campaign’s demands, a social media toolkit to help you communicate why Title IX enforcement matters to you using the hashtag #DearBetsy, call scripts and phone numbers for calling the Department of Education, and other ways to get involved - such as lending your story to the campaign or writing an op-ed.
If you are in need of more guidance or assistance on Title IX and how the roll back of these guidelines may affect you or your child, we encourage you to visit the National Center for Transgender Equality’s School Action Center on their website at transequality.org.
So, if making sure an equal opportunity to education comes with protection from discrimination is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about Calling for the Federal Enforcement of Title IX with the Dear Betsy Campaign via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.
Tell the Dept. of Ed that Title IX must be Federally enforced with #DearBetsy
Learn more about the impacts of the Title IX guideline roll backs with National Center for Transgender Equality’s School Action Center
Trump administration rolls back protections for transgender students (Washington Post)
The Trump administration is systematically dismantling Title IX (Think Progress)
Posted July 7, 2017; Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman
Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1118: A look in at the TERF wars