The U.S. Department of Education has proposed a new rule impacting transgender student athlete participation under Title IX. The rule would prohibit blanket bans on trans student athletes. However, the proposal also creates a clear pathway for schools to ban trans people from sports for "educational criteria". These criteria include things like "fairness in competition", a phrase we've seen in anti-trans athletics legislation for years.
You can make a public comment about this proposed rule. The letter below urges the Department of Education to revise the rule to provide full inclusion and protection against discrimination for student athletes at all levels of competition.
You can adapt the letter to share your personal experiences. But please note that your comment will be public, so do not share identifying information or details you do not want in the public record.
Making a comment is quick and simple. Just follow these three steps:
I am writing to express my concerns about the limitations of the proposed rule changes to Title IX regarding the inclusion of transgender athletes. The Department of Education's efforts to protect transgender students in the wake of continued legislative threats are commendable. However, without revision the policy would fall short of meeting U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona's vision for every student having the "full experience of attending school in America, including participating in athletics, free from discrimination."
While the policy change would bar one-size-fits-all discriminatory policies, it leaves many high school and college transgender athletes on the sidelines. As it stands, the policy creates a clear pathway to legitimize discrimination by citing "educational objectives." The rule would subject transgender athletes to exceptional scrutiny and increase the likelihood of exclusion in athletics as they nurture their talents and enter competitive spaces. It would require transgender athletes to challenge pretextual exclusionary criteria at the expense of valuable training, playing time, and their own mental and physical wellbeing.
The Department should adopt rules to guarantee non-discrimination for transgender students by providing explicit protections for transgender students at all levels of competition. This includes the presumption of full inclusion for transgender athletes, as well as realistically attainable pathways for transgender students to participate in the sport that aligns with their gender identity at all levels of competition.