DeSantis Vows to Defy the Biden Administration’s New Title IX Rules, Including Protections for Trans Students

By: Georgia | Last updated: May 06, 2024

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made headlines with a bold declaration: “Florida rejects Joe Biden’s attempt to rewrite Title IX.” 

It’s clear he’s not planning to back down when it comes to the Biden administration’s latest Title IX revisions aimed at protecting transgender students.

What is Title IX

Title IX is enforced by the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. It protects citizens from discrimination based on their sex. 

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Title IX states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

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Enactment of Title IX

Title IX was enacted as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. 

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Over the past five decades, the administrations of numerous US presidents have updated it. 

Biden's New Title IX

Just last week, President Biden unveiled an update to Title IX, striving to protect LGBTQ+ students from discrimination. 

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These changes allow affected students to seek help from both their schools and the federal government—a major step, according to the administration.

Cardona's Call for Compassion

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona clarified the goal of the new rules: “No one should face bullying or discrimination just because of who they are, who they love.” 

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This remark captures the administration’s commitment to fostering a supportive educational environment.

Schools Should Celebrate Differences, Says Cardona

In a statement, Cardona further discussed the new rules, claiming that they may help students become more accepting of diversity and celebrate their differences. 

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“Our nation’s educational institutions should be places where we not only accept differences, but celebrate them – places that root out hate and promote inclusion, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because our systems and institutions are richer for it,”

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GOP Pushback Heats Up

The reaction from the GOP was swift and sharp, with many leaders arguing that these protections were never intended under the original Title IX. 

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The debate is heating up, reflecting deep divisions on this sensitive issue.

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DeSantis Vows Defiance

“We will not comply,” stated DeSantis, marking Florida’s stance against the new federal guidelines. 

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His firm refusal mirrors a wider sentiment among certain states to resist these changes.

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Sports, Gender, and Controversy

The Biden administration may have sidestepped the issue of transgender athletes in sports, but DeSantis didn’t shy away. 

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He claimed, “We are not going to let Joe Biden try to inject men into women’s activities,” expressing a common concern among opponents.

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Protecting Parental Rights

DeSantis also framed his opposition as a crusade to protect parental rights, asserting, “We are not going to let Joe Biden undermine the rights of parents.” 

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This stance resonates with many who fear federal overreach into family matters.

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Accusations of Overreach

Further criticizing Biden, DeSantis accused him of constitutional overreach: “We are not going to let Joe Biden abuse his constitutional authority to try and impose these policies on us here in Florida.” 

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It’s a stark accusation that reflects the governor’s hardened stance.

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Standing With 'Opportunities'

The Florida governor also positioned himself as a defender of traditional opportunities, claiming he was standing against changes that he believes would undermine them. 

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His rhetoric targets those worried about the implications of the new rules.

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Echoes in Louisiana

Following Florida’s lead, Louisiana’s top education official has also instructed schools to ignore the revised Title IX rules. 

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This shared defiance illustrates the broader resistance among some states.

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DeSantis's Record

DeSantis has previously targeted policies affecting transgender Americans.

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His stance on the Title IX revisions continues his pattern of opposition to gender-affirming care and related issues.

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Biden Administration Refrain From Commenting on School Sports

Despite considerable controversy on the nature of the new laws, the Biden administration has yet to comment on several points. 

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This includes whether non-binary and transgender students will be allowed to participate in sports events and teams that align with their chosen gender. 

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Texas Attorney Stands With DeSantis

DeSantis wasn’t the only person who openly vowed not to adhere to the federal protections for transgender students. 

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Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton shared DeSantis’s opinion and even sued the Biden Administration on April 29 for implementing the new rules. 

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Paxton Calls Biden’s Decision Illegal

During a statement, Paxton called out Biden for his rewriting of Title IX, calling it illegal. 

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“I am instructing the Texas Education Agency to ignore your illegal dictate,” he said. 

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Biden’s New Rules Will Affect Women's Sports, Says Texas Attorney

According to Paxton, Biden’s new rules directly go against laws he recently signed to protect women’s sports. 

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“Your rewrite of Title IX not only exceeds your constitutional authority, it also tramples laws that I signed to protect the integrity of women’s sports by prohibiting men from competing against female athletes,” he said

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Countdown to Change

Despite the controversy, the new Title IX rules are set to take effect on August 1

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This looming date sets the stage for potential conflicts between state policies and federal mandates.

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New Rules Aim to Better Protect Pregnant Women

The new rules require all schools to protect students from all forms of sexual discrimination. 

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This has been expanded to include discrimination based on pregnancy, according to CNN. 

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New Rules Prohibit Any Form of Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

According to a fact sheet shared with CNN, the new rules aim to strengthen protection for transgender students. 

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The rules prohibit any form of discrimination “based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics in federally funded education programs.”

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All Forms of Sex-Based Harassment Are Prohibited

According to the administration fact sheet, what dictates sex-based harassment has also been expanded. 

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As per the fact sheet, “all forms of sex-based harassment, including sexual violence and unwelcome sex-based conduct that creates a hostile environment by limiting or denying a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from a school’s education program or activity.”

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One Change Made Under Trump Remains

While much of the Biden administration’s updated Title XI went against laws implemented by Trump, one of the former president’s changes remains. 

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Schools are still prohibited from taking disciplinary measures, such as suspending students from sports teams, while a Title XI investigation is pending.

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A Change Implemented By Trump Remains

“Removing a respondent from participation in any program or activity before the respondent has been deemed responsible under Title IX is burdensome for the respondent and is inconsistent with not holding the respondent responsible during the pendency of the proceedings. 

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“So we retain that provision as part of the required equity for all parties under Title IX,” a senior administration official said Thursday.

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