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Are Transgender Students Protected by Title IX?

In the summer of 2021, the Department of Education took on the question of whether or not transgender students were protected by Title IX. Title IX, in its originality, was to protect sex-based discrimination. Nearly 50 years after the law originally passed, it has also evolved to include complaints involving stalking, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and now transgender rights.

Under former President Obama’s administration, he outlined that schools could not violate transgender students’ rights and had to have equal rights as all others. However, former President Trump’s administration vowed to reverse that rule and threatened to withhold funding from schools if they allowed transgender students to participate in sports. While it was never truly enforced, the threat was enough to make leadership at public schools uncertain on how they should proceed regarding transgender students.

Then in June 2020, the Supreme Court ruled on the case Bostock vs. Clayton County, saying that sex discrimination was prohibited to LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and the plus sign signifying others) in accordance with Title VII. This is important as Title VII uses similar language regarding “because of sex” as Title IX does.

Now, under President Biden’s administration, the rule is once again more clear for transgender students and schools. The recent notice from the Department of Education clarifies that in conjunction with Title IX, transgender students have the same rights as others, and any complaints will be investigated by the Office of Civil Rights.

While this is a legal victory for transgender students, the fight isn’t over yet. Several lawmakers are still pushing legislation to ban transgender athletes from participating in sports. The proposed legislation is being seen both on the state level and nationally.

Contact Our Title IX Houston Lawyers Today

As the law constantly changes, it’s important to know that no one should feel like they’re ever being excluded — especially students who may be navigating their sexuality in addition to wanting to represent their school. At The Law Offices of Jed Silverman, we’re here to help if you feel like you’ve been discriminated against. Our team has more than 20 years of experience working with Title IX cases and will do everything possible for you. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help.

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