PRESIDENT Joe Biden and the Department of Education were addressing plans to roll back Trump-era Title IX rules and regulations.
The withdrawal would offer more protection to victims of sexual discrimination based on gender identity in schools.
What is Title IX?
Title IX is a law enacted to stop discrimination in state and private schools and to protect students from being victims of sexual discrimination in educational programs and activities.
Title IX is part of the Education Amendments Act 1972 and is a federal statute which states:
“No person in the United States shall be excluded from, denied benefits of, or discriminated against because of their sex from participation in any educational program or activity that receives federal funding.”
The law has played a significant role in women’s sports, requiring both sports teams to be equal and giving women the same opportunities to play sports as men.
Before the introduction of Title IX, women’s participation in sport was just 8 percent, but within a decade of the law’s passage, that number rose to 53 percent.
While Title IX primarily addresses discrimination in sport, it also applies to all aspects of education, including the courses offered, financial aid, student health and insurance benefits, and employment.
How did Joe Biden propose to change Title IX?
President Joe Biden has proposed an amendment to Title IX that would protect transgender students who wish to participate in sports.
The proposal would change the structure of Title IX, which was not originally written to include transgender students.
Regarding the proposed change, Education Minister Miguel Cardona told reporters: “Our proposed changes would fully protect students from all forms of gender discrimination, rather than restricting some protections to just sexual harassment, and make it clear that those protections are discrimination based on gender.” of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The Biden administration will retain some of the mandates given by former President Donald Trump, including requiring schools to presume an accused student is innocent until proven guilty, and may pass informal resolutions if both parties agree.
Biden’s proposal would also allow schools to conduct investigations into sexual misconduct without filing a formal complaint.
The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group, said in a statement that the proposed changes to Title IX are a “good first step” in protecting a “vulnerable population” who are all too often hunted.
The campaign’s legal director, Sarah Warbelow, said the proposed changes to Title IX were “particularly important given the attacks on transgender youth across the country”.
When was Title IX first introduced?
The 50th anniversary of Title IX was celebrated on June 23, 2022, and commemorates the women who have had opportunities to further their aspirations because of the law.
Title IX helped break down barriers in women’s sport when it went into effect on June 23, 1972.
The law allowed women to get college athletic scholarships, and many said everything changed for them.
Jill Witmer Funk later was a member of the US field hockey team at the Rio Olympics and told WGAL News8, “If I hadn’t even gotten a scholarship, I don’t know if I would have played field hockey.”
Before Title IX came into effect, so many women faced discrimination in sport, including Witmer Funk’s national champion coach, Denise Gobrecht.
“We did the national field hockey tournament for my senior year, and it was in Denver, Colorado,” Gobrecht said.
“We didn’t have the money, so at some points we put our glasses there to raise money.”
Fifty years later, Title IX is still giving women access to what was previously unimaginable, and Witmer Funk, who is now a mother, hopes her daughter and son will have the same opportunities she has.
“I think it just builds confidence,” she said, adding, “I know it’s helped my confidence.”
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