You’ve heard it said that it “takes a village” to raise a child right. And for the most part, that is very true. Children need to see examples of good behavior, experience different kinds of people, and feel part of a community.
That is often something parents alone cannot do solely on their own, no matter how well-intentioned. It’s why we have big family functions, why kids are encouraged to participate in sports, and why a child’s education is about far more than just learning to read and write.
However, no matter what kind of good that village or community can do for a child, it is usually understood that parents, as the living giving beings of that child, have the ultimate authority over how they are raised. It is why immunizations are not required but recommended, why our schooling is not mandated in one format or another, and why we have the freedom to raise our kids religiously or not.
Apparently, Biden and his administration don’t agree with that sentiment, though. Or at least that’s the message his new Title IX regulations give teachers and school administrators.
If you know anything about Title IX, you understand that it is a rather simple educational statute that bans and outlaws any form of “sex discrimination.” Recently the Biden administration decided that the regulation needed a bit more clarification. And so, they set out to redefine “sex” to include categories like gender and gender identity.
Basically, they did so to make discriminating against gay or transgender students illegal, whether from the school and staff or other students.
But as anyone could have foreseen, the changes also make it possible for teachers to use the new title framework as a weapon to keep parents in the dark and even overrule their wishes for their child’s life.
As Title IX is a federally ruled upon statute against discrimination, schools don’t have to seek parental permission to report sexual harassment, bullying, or discrimination. According to law, it is their obligation as educators to do so, regardless of whether or not the parent has been notified about such instances.
It also allows schools to instruct children on the wrongness of discrimination without parental consent.
Now, for the most part, I think we can all agree that this is ok. But when gender and gender identity are suddenly included in this, everything changes.
The new rules would allow schools to add gender identity issues such as choosing and changing one’s sex in school curricula and lessons – and all without the parent’s knowledge. They may not even send out the usual opt-out forms for such classes.
Additionally, it would mean children could use the school to participate in certain activities “consistent with their gender identity” with or without either their parent’s permission or even knowledge.
Take one instance in Washington State, where an 11-year-old girl was asked whether or not she wanted to stay in the boys’ cabin for an upcoming field trip. The mother was never asked what she preferred.
In Alaska, a school recently used the newly changed IX to officially change both the name and pronouns used for one student without her mother’s permission. As a result, the child’s freshly chosen male name was listed on all school-related documents besides the one sent home to the actual parent. Even the school yearbook had the new name.
When the mother finally found out and protested, the school and its officials said the mother had no say in the matter, thanks to Title IX.
Even more terrifying is the idea that the statute could be used to threaten and attack parents who aren’t willing to “affirm” their child’s chosen identity. When a California father refused to refer to his daughter by her new chosen identity, the school called Child Protective Services, which shortly after removed the child from his custody due to “emotional damage.”
Basically, the statute now lets a child, in some cases no more than five or six years old, decide what is best for them and then let teachers back them up, regardless of what parents think or want.
Luckily, some states have begun to put limits on Title IX. But with an administration that sees its decisions as taking precedent, it may take more than a few courts to decide just how the new changes can and can’t be used. Let’s hope they choose what’s best for the actual child and not just what the child thinks it needs.