Department of Education Outlines Decision On Transgender Student Athletes

Sep 10, 2020

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Department of Education Outlines Decision On Transgender Student Athletes

In response to the recent Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County broadening the definition of sex under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include homosexual conduct, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a letter on August 31st reaffirming its position that Connecticut’s public schools remain out of compliance with the Title IX, a 1972 statute prohibiting discrimination based on sex in educational programs and activities , because the state’s policy allows transgender girls to compete against biological girls in sports. 
Kimberly Richey, OCR’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, provided updates on the case the department had previously addressed in May, which held that female high school track athletes in Connecticut were not given fair chances to compete when transgender female students, who are biologically male, were permitted to race against them. Despite the Bostock ruling, Richey maintained that federal regulations allow schools seperate athletics based on biological sex, stating that the separation does not discriminate against transgender students under Title IX. “Thus, schools may offer separate-sex teams. Indeed, such separate-sex teams have long ensured that female student-athletes are afforded an equal opportunity to participate,” she wrote. 
The letter “constitutes a formal statement of OCR’s interpretation of Title IX and its implementing regulations and should be relied upon, cited, and construed as such.”

News Sources:

Schools Allowing Boys in Girls’ Sports Are Violating the Law, Even after Court Ruling, Trump Admin. Says

Ed Dept decision on trans student-athletes could have broader implications

Department of Education sends mixed messages on transgender student protections
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