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FRESHFARM workers ratify union agreement
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 15, 2024

Education Department releases potential rules regarding transgender student-athletes

Hatchet File Photo
A Department of Education release states schools would need to consider factors like grade, education and competition level when determining policies for who can participate in athletic teams under the rule change.

The U.S. Department of Education announced potential changes to Title IX regulations Thursday, presenting plans to bar blanket bans of transgender student-athletes but allowing limitations on a case-by-case basis.

The proposed policy, which will apply to public K-12 schools and colleges, universities and other educational institutions that receive federal funding, finds schools that “categorically ban” transgender students from participating in sports teams consistent with their gender identity are in violation of Title IX. The department will still allow schools to limit the participation of transgender students in some cases to allow “fairness in competition.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said the proposed rule protects equal athletic opportunities. He said he encouraged public comment on the proposed rule change and “will continue working to ensure Title IX’s effective protection for all students.”

“Every student should be able to have the full experience of attending school in America, including participating in athletics, free from discrimination,” he said in the release. “Being on a sports team is an important part of the school experience for students of all ages.”

The rule change would only allow schools to “limit or deny” students from participating in sports teams that reflect their gender identities if they can demonstrate the policy relates to educational objectives. The policy must also “minimize harms” for students restricted from participating in sports teams that reflect their identities.

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a transgender girl in West Virginia may participate in a middle school girls’ track team.

The release states that under the rule change, schools would need to take factors like grade level, education level and competition level into account when determining policies for who can participate in athletic teams. It states that “sex-related eligibility criteria” that restrict students from participating in teams that reflect their gender identity need to reflect “differences in competition.”

The release states that schools would also need to take into account differences between types of sports. It states the rule change would “recognize the importance of minimizing” harm to students who are restricted from participating on sports teams that reflect their gender identities.

“Preventing students from participating on a sports team consistent with their gender identity can stigmatize and isolate them, and those students may not be able to participate at all if the only other option is to participate on a team that does not align with their gender identity,” the release reads.

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About the Contributor
Erika Filter, News Editor
Erika Filter is a senior majoring in international affairs from Carson City, Nevada. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editors and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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