Alliance Defending Freedom tells Education Department that Biden’s Title IX proposals will ‘endanger children’

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Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) joined thousands of concerned parents in providing some strongly worded comments for President Biden’s proposed Title IX changes Sunday night.

The Biden administration’s proposed amendments to Title IX, the civil rights law established in 1972 to prohibit sex-based discrimination in schools, would expand those protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The proposals are so controversial they have received a record response from outraged parents and concerned citizens – over 184,000 comments as of Monday.

ADF, the group said, focused on parental rights and how the change “would compel schools to treat students as whatever sex they prefer—without parents’ knowledge or consent” in its letter. ADF describes itself as “an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.”

“The Rule Will Harm Parental Rights and Endanger Children,” ADF’s letter reads at the outset, with a number of bullets explaining why.

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“Redefining ‘sex discrimination’ to include gender-identity discrimination undermines parental rights and exposes children to the risk of long-term harms,” Katherine L. Anderson, senior counsel for ADF’s Director of the Center of Parental Rights, wrote in the letter to Biden Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

FILE: Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 27, 2022. 

FILE: Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 27, 2022.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The letter explains that school districts across the country are introducing policies that require staff to ask students to provide their preferred name and pronouns, without parents’ or guardians’ knowledge. ADF charged that was “no accident.”

“The implications of such policies are clear: School districts are enabling students to lead double lives — using one name and set of pronouns at school and another at home, without their parents’ knowledge and consent,” ADF wrote. “The lack of parental knowledge is no accident. The purpose of these policies is to cut parents out of decisions about their children until school officials have decided that they will approach their child’s desire to live as the opposite sex the way that school officials want them to approach it.”

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Biden’s proposals, Anderson continued, would “proliferate” the trend. The letter argued that it is also unconstitutional.

“Policies like the proposed rule that ignore biological reality — ignore sex — pose serious risks to student health and safety and undermine the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children,” she wrote. “And the U.S. Supreme Court has long held that the Constitution safeguards that right.”

Washington, DC, USA - January, 12, 2021: US Department of Education Building.

Washington, DC, USA – January, 12, 2021: US Department of Education Building. (iStock)

ADF continued, outlining how the rules would override parents in other areas like curricula and the use of facilities. Several other commenters suggested the new Title IX rules would pave the way for more progressive and divisive lessons and the potential dangers of schools letting students choose bathrooms that correspond not with their biological sex, but with their gender identity.

“Many public schools are indoctrinating students in harmful views of human sexuality and race, injecting ideas from critical race and critical gender theories into classrooms,” Anderson wrote. “ADF helps parents and teachers challenge this indoctrination of students.”

“The proposed rule likely also grants children an absolute right to use school facilities and participate in activities ‘consistent with their gender identity,’ regardless of whether their parents agree or are even aware of that identity,” the group later said. “Schools will feel free to allow students to select the sex-separated restrooms, overnight field trip accommodations, camp cabins, locker rooms, and other intimate facilities of their choice and based on their gender identity, not their sex — without parental knowledge or prior approval.”

Parents and community members attend a Loudoun County School Board meeting, just 40 minutes from Fairfax.

Parents and community members attend a Loudoun County School Board meeting, just 40 minutes from Fairfax. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

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Anderson urged the Biden administration to “abandon” its plans because it’s “radically rewriting federal law.”

“We appreciate each of the commenters for taking the time to share views about the proposed amendments to the Department’s Title IX regulations,” education department official Catherine E. Lhamon said in a statement to Fox News Digital about the record amount of comments. “We look forward to reviewing each and every comment to help inform the development of the final regulations. The promise of Title IX remains as vital today as it has been over its five decades, and the Department is committed to its full and fair enforcement.”

“The regulations… will strengthen protections for LGBTQI+ students who face discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” the Department of Education also said as it revealed the proposals on June 23, the 50th anniversary of Title IX. 

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Several other people who sounded off in the public comments threatened to file lawsuits against the Biden administration if it proceeds with its proposals. 

“I think that it’s an absolute certainly that is the administration proceeds with the proposed rule as written… particular as it regards to gender identity but also as it applies to many of the due process provision changes, there will absolutely be litigation,” Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies President Robert Eitel told Fox News Digital. “And litigation will be filed not only by students with appropriate standing but also the states.”