Title IX makes it clear that gender discrimination in schools and colleges is not acceptable. Yet, you might think that only applies to traditional concepts of gender, such as male and female.
A Washington Post report suggests the federal government is about to amplify that definition to provide specific protection for more students.
What will the new rules look like?
If the paper is correct, this is what the new text will say: “Discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes, sex-related characteristics (including intersex traits), pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”
Many will welcome the move. Yet not everyone is going to agree with this proposed change. One issue likely to cause fierce debate in schools and the courts relates to transgender students.
Some will be unhappy about a transgender student using formerly male- or female-only bathrooms. Others will feel it is unfair to expect girls to compete against transgender students identifying as female.
If you are against the proposed change, you need to take extra care not to react inappropriately. Otherwise, you could find yourself in legal trouble. School is full of rules, and you probably do not agree with many of them. Yet you know you need to comply to avoid issues.
If you are unsure what Title IX expects of you, do not leave it to chance. If you get it wrong, you could end up facing expulsion from school and getting a note on your education record that could harm your future education chances. If you work at the school or college, whether in a voluntary or paid role, you could lose your job and struggle to find a new one.
If you have already been accused of a Title IX breach, get help to defend against the charges.