The Biden administration now says that “sex” means “gender identity.” So, what does this mean for K-12 teachers?

In a new regulation released last week, the Biden administration changed the definition of “sex” in a crucial civil rights law that was originally designed to protect women. Title IX of the Civil Rights Act says that schools cannot discriminate against individuals based on sex, which gave women better access to higher education and athletics.

But the Biden administration has swapped “sex” for “gender,” which will allow biological males access to females’ bathrooms, locker rooms, sports competitions, etc.

K-12 educators around the country are wondering what to do next, because this rule would have major implications for school facilities and athletic teams.

Washington wants schools to change their harassment policies, too, because the new rule says individuals could face charges of harassment if they address someone according to his or her sex instead of “gender” choice.

Our advice to educators: Wait.

The Biden administration’s rule violates numerous administrative laws and constitutional free-speech provisions, not to mention women’s civil rights. The rule goes into effect Aug. 1, and we forecast a long, hot summer of litigation that will stall and should ultimately overturn this rule.

The rule violates state laws that protect women’s athletics and prohibit men from competing in women’s sports. Louisiana Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley has already issued a letter to school officials in his state saying the rule violates their state’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which keeps single-sex sports just that—for individuals of one sex to compete with each other: girls’ soccer for girls, boys’ basketball for boys, as schools have operated for generations.

“This rule runs contradictory to the entire foundation of Title IX,” Brumley wrote to teachers and principals. “The Title IX rule changes recklessly endanger students and seek to dismantle equal opportunities for females.” The lead education officials of Oklahoma and South Carolina have sent similar letters to educators in their states.

The rule also ignores research that finds health professionals do not know enough about the long-term effects of drugs and medicines being used to alter human bodies, including the biological functions of children. Earlier this month, England’s National Health Service released a report that the Times of London called “the world’s biggest review into the contested field of transgender health care.”

The release, called the Cass Report, found that scientists “have no good evidence” on the long-term outcomes from puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and surgeries that alter reproductive organs.

Young people in particular may feel “an urgency to transition,” the Cass Report said, but “young adults looking back at their younger selves would often advise slowing down.” The report’s authors said the effects of so-called gender interventions “needs to be better understood.”

The Independent Women’s Forum, an advocacy organization, has already announced its intent to sue the administration. The new rule “turns Title IX on its head through extra-statutory regulations,” the group said in a news release.

Public opinion sides with Brumley, the Cass Report, and the Independent Women’s Forum. A 2023 survey of Americans found that 55% of respondents said it is “morally wrong” to change your gender, an increase of 4 percentage points from 2021. In the same survey, 69% of Americans said that “transgender athletes should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their birth gender.”

Americans do not like watching videos on social media of middle-school girls getting thrown down by a boy in a basketball game or of a high school girl having her teeth knocked out while playing field hockey. Nor do any parents want their daughters to share a locker room with a boy.

The Biden administration is violating civil rights law and ignoring research and public opinion. School officials would do well to wait before changing school rules—both to see what happens in court and to protect students and teachers from this harmful policy.

Originally published by The Washington Times