North Texas Schools Face Dilemma Over Conflicting Title IX Guidance From Biden and Abbott

North Texas schools, including Frisco ISD and Carroll ISD, navigate conflicting Title IX directives from the Biden administration and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.


North Texas school districts and public universities are grappling with conflicting Title IX guidance from the Biden administration and Texas Governor Greg Abbott. With the new federal guidelines set to take effect in August, administrators face a tough decision: comply with the U.S. Education Department’s expanded protections or heed Abbott’s directive to ignore the “illegal” mandate.

The updated Title IX rules, issued last month, extend anti-discrimination protections to students based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Notably, these provisions prohibit schools from barring transgender students from using bathrooms or pronouns corresponding to their gender identity. Title IX, originally enacted in 1972, was designed to prevent sex-based discrimination and sexual harassment in federally funded educational institutions.

Governor Abbott, however, has ordered the Texas Education Agency to disregard these new rules. He also sent letters to every public university and community college in Texas, urging them not to comply with the revisions. Abbott argues that the new guidelines undermine state laws intended to protect women’s sports and ensure campus safety, stating, “I will not let President Biden erase the advancements Texas has made.”

Texas joins 20 other GOP-led states in suing the Biden administration over the rules. Despite Abbott’s firm stance, the guidelines do not address transgender students’ participation in sports, a key point of contention.

School districts in North Texas are responding variably. Frisco ISD plans to implement the new Title IX regulations starting August 1, emphasizing a commitment to abiding by the law. Conversely, Carroll ISD’s board of trustees passed a resolution rejecting the federal protections, citing potential confusion and safety risks.

Dallas ISD remains committed to a 2017 resolution that designates its schools as “welcoming and protective,” but has not clarified its stance on the new rules. Meanwhile, the University of North Texas acknowledged receiving Abbott’s letter but did not confirm whether it will adopt the new guidelines this fall.

As the summer break approaches, North Texas schools and universities are left in a state of uncertainty, awaiting further guidance and potential legal developments. With the Texas Education Agency yet to respond to Abbott’s directive, the educational landscape remains in flux.

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