GLSEN and 250+ Organizations Urge for Stronger Title IX Protections

GLSEN and 250+ LGBTQ+ and Education Organizations Urge Department of Education to Strengthen Proposed Title IX Protections for Trans and Queer Students

WASHINGTON D.C. --This week, GLSEN, American School Counselor Association, Human Rights Campaign, interACT: Advocates for Youth, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association for Secondary School Principals, National Center for Transgender Equality, National PTA, National Women’s Law Center and PFLAG National submitted a public comment that applauded the proposed Title IX rule on prohibiting sex-based discrimination and called on the Department of Education to further strengthen protections for LGBTQI+ youth. The letter developed by these 10 organizations received broad support from an additional 247 education, civil rights, and LGBTQI+ justice organizations.

View the full comment and list of signers HERE.

GLSEN Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers (they/she) said:

“We’re grateful to be in community with other leading education, civil rights and LGBTQ+ justice organizations in defending protections against sex-based discrimination under Title IX. We applaud the U.S. Department of Education for affirming that discrimination against LGBTQ+ youth is prohibited. Despite the progress we’ve seen under Title IX over the years, LGBTQ+ students still face significant barriers at school and more recently, there has been a devastating, coordinated effort from radical politicians to erase transgender and LGBTQ+ people from schools. We will continue to work with the department to strengthen this rule. 

“At the same time, some of the biggest obstacles to inclusion for trans students in school right now are actually politically-motivated state bans and the shameful actions of extremist justices in the U.S. Supreme Court, which have called the very existence of our basic civil rights into question. Now more than ever, it is important to rise up for our LGBTQ+ youth and do everything we can to bolster protections for students under Title IX. We must select more leaders who will stand in solidarity with marginalized people’s movements for justice. We have some powerful champions, but we need more elected champions on our side to achieve the numbers we need to drive bold legislative change for equal opportunity and access to education for all young people, regardless of sex, including sexual orientation or gender identity.” 

National Association of School Psychologists President Celeste Malone, PhD, MS said:

“The National Association of School Psychologists applauds the Biden Administration’s proposed Title IX regulations, which affirms our long standing position that LGBTQ+ youth have a civil right to be their authentic selves in schools without fear of harassment or discrimination. NASP is proud to join this letter and we remain committed to working with the Administration, school psychologists, and other key partners to advance safe, supportive, and affirming policy and practice that protect the well-being of LGBTQ+ and other minoritized youth.”

Human Rights Campaign Director of Government Affairs David Stacy said:

“Title IX has always been about ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to safely experience everything our educational system has to offer, without discrimination or victimization. Providing this clarity that Title IX’s protections include sexual orientation and gender identity is not only consistent with those longstanding goals, it’s an urgently needed step at a time when LGBTQ+ students are under attack in state legislatures all across the country. Every student, regardless of background, sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves to feel safe and welcomed in schools. This rule change is a great first step toward ending anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in schools – especially in combination with the Department of Education’s promised additional rule on athletics provisions, which we expect to make clear that transgender youth should be included in these protections.”

National Women’s Law Center President & CEO Fatima Goss Graves said:

“Title IX was enacted 50 years ago to broadly protect students from sex discrimination, but much work remains to be done to fulfill its purpose. The increasing baseless and dangerous attacks against LGBTQI+ students across the country call for action. The Department of Education’s proposed Title IX rules make the important point that discrimination against LGBTQI+ students is against the law and must not be tolerated or ignored, but the Biden administration can still do more to strengthen and improve these rules. We hope the administration will take our recommendations seriously, and continue to work to fulfill Title IX’s promise.”

American School Counselor Association Executive Director Jill Cook said:

“ASCA is proud to join the breadth of professional organizations coming together to urge the US Department of Education to further affirm protections to ensure a safe and supportive school environment for all students – especially our LGBTQI+ youth.”

National PTA President Anna King said:

“National PTA has long believed that every child deserves to go to school excited to learn in a safe and nurturing environment, without the fear of bullying, violence or discrimination. However, we know LGBTQI+ youth often feel unsafe at school because they are especially at risk of being bullied and assaulted because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or identity,” said Anna King, president of National PTA. “Our association stands with GLSEN and its partners in support of strengthening Title IX and other federal, state and local policies that specifically protect LGBTQI+ youth and create and maintain safe, affirming and inclusive learning environments for every child. It is critical that we make sure all students have positive school experiences and the opportunity to reach their fullest potential.”

interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth Executive Director Erika Lorshbough said:

"Intersex students deserve to be welcomed and safeguarded from discrimination at school just as much as other youth who may face exclusion or inequitable treatment for reasons related to sex. interACT is proud to join GLSEN and others in praising the proposed rule's clarification that variance from sex stereotypes, including in one's sexual orientation, gender identity, or bodily sex characteristics, cannot justify discrimination in educational settings."

National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen said:

“While some politicians are targeting transgender youth with dangerous and discriminatory laws, the Biden administration is advancing regulations that will protect trans kids from discrimination at school and help to ensure that they have a safe, respectful place to learn and grow,” said. “We are proud to join with partner organizations and other advocates in supporting the proposed Title IX rule, which is an important first step toward prohibiting discrimination against transgender students.”

PFLAG National Executive Director Brian K. Bond said: 

"Title IX helps ensure schools are a place where students can safely learn about themselves and the world in which we live, and where they can explore all kinds of topics, programs and activities as they grow and thrive. The voices of families of LGBTQ+ students are critical to ensuring that the Administration's proposed Title IX regulation is inclusive of all students, no matter their gender or sexual orientation," said Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National. "PFLAG National is proud to work with our partners at GLSEN and more than 250 other organizations and individuals to support this important initiative."

National Association for Secondary School Principals Chief Executive Officer Ron Nozoe said:

“We must ensure that all students can attend school without fear of discrimination,” said NASSP CEO, Ronn Nozoe. “Adopting these Title IX updates is the right thing to do, and reflects what school leaders need to create more inclusive learning environments.”

About GLSEN

GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Since 1990, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ+ students across the United States and helped launch an international movement to address LGBTQ+ issues in education.

 

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