Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. advised school administrators to disregard federal guidelines that attempt to prevent discrimination against students based on topics like gender identity because they would “vastly expand the application” of Title IX. Diaz’s letter was a continuation of the governor’s efforts to exclude what he terms “woke gender ideology” from schools.
More than 50 years ago, the federal statute known as Title IX was passed to outlaw sex-based discrimination in educational settings. A proposal that the U.S. Department of Education claimed would “give greater clarification regarding the extent” of sex discrimination was released last month. In accordance with the rules, schools would have a legal obligation “not to discriminate on the basis of sex stereotypes, sex features, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”
Diaz took issue with the extension of Title IX’s definition to cover gender identity and sexual orientation. He wrote to superintendents, school boards, private school owners, and charter school governing boards on Thursday, stating that the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture’s advice materials “are not binding legislation” and requesting that they continue with their current methods.
Justice Department Reinforces Federal Nondiscrimination Obligations in Letter to State Officials Regarding Transgender Youthhttps://t.co/ZYuHNVJSUA
— DOJ Civil Rights (@CivilRights) March 31, 2022
Similar announcements were made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in May, which oversees initiatives like school lunch programmes and would start interpreting Title IX “to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” Diaz forbade schools from making certain modifications to accommodate transgender kids.
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For instance, Diaz wrote, “Nothing in these guidance documents requires you to allow biological males who identify as female access to female bathrooms, locker rooms, or dorms; to assign biological males who identify as female to female rooms on school field trips; or to permit biological males who identify as female to participate on female sports teams.
The standards will, however, “guarantee all our nation’s students — no matter where they live, who they are, or whom they love — may learn, grow, and thrive in school,” according to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, who made this statement in a news release last month. Diaz’s letter was a continuation of the governor’s efforts to exclude what he terms “woke gender ideology” from schools.
At a news conference on Wednesday, the governor made the claim that other states’ school systems included curriculum that encouraged kids to consider their gender. Basically, this is for elementary school students, and they are told to say, “Well, you may have been born a boy, that’s probably what you said, but maybe you’re really a girl. That is untrue.
That is inappropriate for school. Therefore, that is taking place in our nation. During a speech in Tampa, DeSantis said, “Anyone who says you it’s not happening is lying to you. This year, DeSantis approved a contentious law that limits the way that schools can teach students about their sexual orientation and gender identity. The “don’t mention homosexual” bill, as it was mocked by opponents, has faced legal challenges in federal courts.
DeSantis also signed legislation in 2021 that made it illegal for transgender female athletes to play on high school girls’ teams and college women’s sports teams. In her letter, Diaz also criticised the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, charging that it had contacted schools and “suggested that they should comply” with its recommendations.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democrat running for governor this year, is in charge of the state agency and frequently spars with DeSantis. Additionally, Diaz urged schools to avoid “any recommendation” from the state agricultural department that they display a “And Justice for All” poster to signify their involvement in the Food and Nutrition Service programme of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The posters are the “main tool utilised to advise customers of their rights that shows information pertinent” to federally sponsored programmes, according to the federal agriculture ministry. The U.S. Department of Education and the state agriculture department were approached by The News Service of Florida on Thursday for comment, but neither party responded right away.