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ADF files nation-leading fifth legal action against Biden admin for attempted Title IX rewrite

Texas school district sues over radical Title IX reinterpretation that jeopardizes students’ privacy, safety, fairness

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

FORT WORTH, Texas – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of a Texas school district challenging a Biden administration rule change to unlawfully rewrite Title IX, a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for female students in education and athletics. This is now the fifth legal action ADF attorneys have brought to stop the administration’s illegal Title IX efforts.

On April 19, the administration announced it would redefine “sex” in Title IX rules to include “gender identity,” requiring schools to ignore the biological distinction between male and female in favor of “an individual’s sense of their gender.” As ADF attorneys explain, the Department of Education’s fundamental and radical rewriting of federal law forces schools across the country to embrace a controversial gender ideology that harms children—including the very children it claims to help. Carroll Independent School District adopted a resolution denouncing the rule change, emphasizing that the rule could “jeopardiz[e] the safety and well-being of students.”

“The Biden administration’s radical redefinition of ‘sex’ in Title IX upends our education system. Carroll Independent School District is right to seek to preserve safety and privacy for the girls—and all students—under its supervision,” said ADF Legal Counsel Mathew Hoffmann. “The administration continues to ignore biological reality, science, and common sense. This dangerous and unnecessary rule change will have devastating consequences for students, teachers, administrators, and families, and we urge the court to preserve Title IX as it has stood for decades—for the privacy, safety, and equal opportunities for all.”

As ADF attorneys explain in the lawsuit, Carroll Independent School District v. United States Department of Education, schools will have to allow males who identify as female to enter girls’ private spaces like restrooms, locker rooms, and showers and—despite logically inconsistent disclaimers saying otherwise—to play on girls’ sports teams. The new rule also requires the school district to enforce policies restricting students’ and employees’ free-speech rights.

Carroll Independent School District is located in Southlake, Texas, and operates 11 schools for students from pre-K to 12th grade, with a student body of approximately 8,400. The new Title IX rule will impact all of the schools and students.

Since April 30, ADF attorneys have initiated four other legal actions challenging the administration’s unlawful attempt to rewrite Title IX. In Rapides Parish School Board v. U.S. Department of Education, ADF attorneys represent a Louisiana school board serving more than 20,000 students. In State of Tennessee v. Cardona, ADF attorneys represent Adaleia Cross, a high-school female athlete from West Virginia, and Christian Educators Association International, a group of Christian teachers from across the country.

Earlier this month, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, together with ADF attorneys and attorneys general from five other states, filed a lawsuit against the administration in State of Arkansas v. U.S. Department of Education. In that case, ADF attorneys represent Amelia Ford, a high school athlete from Arkansas. And last week, four other states, as well as private groups of parents, students, and female athletes, filed their own lawsuit, State of Kansas v. U.S. Department of Education. There, ADF represents Female Athletes United, an organization made up of female athletes devoted to protecting women’s sports, and Katie Rowland, a 13-year-old who had to stop using the restrooms at her Oklahoma public school for a time because of males accessing this private space.

The Biden administration attempted to dodge the issue of women’s sports by leaving in place a section of Title IX regulations allowing schools to maintain sex-specific sports teams. However, as ADF attorneys explain in the lawsuit, the administration has already made its stance clear on the issue of boys who identify as girls being allowed to compete in girls’ sports. In another ADF case, B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education, the Department of Justice stated, “A state law that limits or denies a particular class of people’s ability to participate in public, federally funded educational programs and activities solely because their gender identity does not match their sex assigned at birth violates both Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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