Advocacy Groups Demand Immediate Release of Title IX Rule

by HRC Staff

National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), GLSEN, and Human Rights Campaign Submitted Joint Letter

Washington, DC – Today, a group of over 80 organizations, including the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), GLSEN, and Human Rights Campaign, submitted a joint letter to President Biden urging him to swiftly finalize comprehensive Title IX regulations to ensure the safety and protection of student survivors, pregnant and parenting students, and LGBTQI+ students, including transgender, nonbinary, and intersex student athletes.

In the letter, the groups indicate that the Department of Education’s Title IX rule changes are urgently needed to clarify that schools will be held accountable for discriminatory school policies and harassment targeting LGBTQI+ students, like Nex Benedict, who tragically died after a year of experiencing harassment, bullying, and assault at school.

The groups also stated that the rule changes are needed to restore protections for student survivors, whose rights have been weakened significantly almost four years ago by the Trump administration, and to clarify protections for pregnant and parenting students who face greater barriers to completing their education in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs.

“In the midst of aggressive attacks on LGBTQI+ youth, the administration cannot employ a piecemeal approach when protecting transgender, nonbinary and intersex students,” said Shiwali Patel, Director of Justice for Students Survivors and Senior Counsel at NWLC. “We urge the administration to move forward with comprehensive protections that ensure all students can feel safe, affirmed, and supported in school, including by being able to access educational programs, facilities, and activities – including school sports – as they are and free from discrimination.”

“It’s past time for the administration to do the right thing for transgender youth and finalize Title IX rules that foster inclusive and equitable schools that help all students succeed.” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “Every child has the right to a safe, supportive educational environment where they have the same opportunities as their peers and are free to be themselves and thrive.”

“Without comprehensive and final updates to Title IX regulations, LGBTQI+ students remain vulnerable to discrimination and harm, particularly in states with hostile anti-trans laws,” said Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, Executive Director of GLSEN. “Urgent action is required from the administration to address the pressing need for accountability in schools, particularly concerning discriminatory policies and harassment targeting transgender, nonbinary and intersex students. Every student deserves to feel safe, affirmed, and supported within their school environment.”

“All students, including LGBTQ+ young people, deserve safe and welcoming schools, where they can be free to focus on learning and growing,” said Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign Vice President, Legal. “The tragic death of Nex Benedict in the wake of a year’s worth of bullying and harassment shines a light on how discriminatory governmental policies targeting LGBTQ+ youth, especially transgender students, create a dangerous, hostile environment for far too many kids across the country. Finalizing these Title IX regulations will provide clarity to schools about their obligations to LGBTQ+ students while helping empower youth and their families, and we urge the Biden administration to quickly move forward.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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