Equitas Health Reviews Title IX Changes: Protections Should Go Further | Equitas Health


Equitas Health Reviews Title IX Changes: Protections Should Go Further

Early this summer, Equitas Health promised to review proposed changes to Title IX regulations. The 50-year-old law bans sex discrimination and sexual harassment in school programs that get federal aid.

A new rule was introduced by the Biden administration in June, and it’s working to renew and strengthen protections for LGBTQ+ students, women and girls of color, and pregnant and parenting students. These regulations will replace a Trump-era rule that reduced protections for students and made it harder for survivors of assault to file a report.

We kept our promise.

In September, we joined the National Women’s Law Center and 188 others in filing an open comment with the U.S. Dept. of Education. The open comment applauds the current administration’s efforts to replace the harmful “2020 rule.” It also asks for stronger protections for LGBTQ+ — and especially transgender, non-binary, gender expansive, and intersex – students. A review of the proposed amendments found that they “do not reach far enough in protecting against sex discrimination in education.”

The NWLC document also offered comments about the proposed regulations. Among other things, it asks the U.S. Department of Education to:

  • Codify explicit protections for LGTBQ+ students—especially transgender students—due to recent anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation and violence;
  • Move quickly on rules about the participation of transgender, non-binary, and intersex students in school athletics;
  • Include language that says “all LGBTQ+ students have a right to play school sports without ‘heightened surveillance, reduced privacy, or policies premising that LGBTQI+ students pose a threat to anyone simply by existing (they do not) or that there is something inherently ‘unfeminine’ about success in school sports (a sex stereotype Title IX was enacted to address.)”;
  • Put an end to dress codes in schools based on sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity) and make it clear that sex-separated dress codes are discriminatory; and
  • Ensure that schools actively protect student privacy.

Other Ohio groups to sign the NWLC letter include the Ace and Aro Alliance of Central Ohio, Family Health Services of East Central Ohio, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, LGBTQ+ Allies Lake County, LGBTQ+ Spectrum of Findlay, the Newark Ohio Pride Coalition, and Unity House at Kenyon College.

Our review follows a June letter that sought quick action from President Biden on the newly proposed rule. In that action, we joined 200 other groups in signing that letter, and our advocacy for defending the well-being of LGBTQ+ students doesn’t stop there.

On Sept. 20, Equitas Health also publicly testified against the Ohio State Board of Education’s resolution that opposes these new protections. Our full testimony from September is available here. We’ll also be publicly testifying in defense of transgender, non-binary, gender expansive, and intersex students’ rights again later this month.

We will continue to raise our voices in matters of sex discrimination. All students deserve to take part in school programs without fear of discrimination or harassment. Their health and well-being depend on it.