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Degenfelder expects new Title IX policies to be ‘overturned’

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Aaron Pelczar with the Cody Enterprise, via the Wyoming News Exchange

CODY — “The most prudent course of action at this time for Wyoming school districts is to continue under their current Title IX policies and practices,” said Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder on June 12.

Degenfelder has voiced strong opposition to the Biden Administration’s new Title IX rules, which redefine sex discrimination to include gender identity and sexual orientation. The new rules, set to be implemented on August 1 have sparked significant controversy and legal challenges.

“Wyoming districts have robust policies in place to prevent and address discrimination of all types, and I am confident these education leaders will continue to carry them out with fidelity,” she said.

The reinterpretation of Title IX undermines the original intent of the law, which was to protect biological women from discrimination, she said. Degenfelder added that the new rules endanger female students and infringe upon the religious liberties of teachers and students.

“I continue to oppose these new rules because they endanger female students, decrease the due process rights of teachers and students, and create unnecessary and overly burdensome requirements on school districts,” she said in a press release.

Degenfelder has partnered with Gov. Mark Gordon and Attorney General Bridget Hill to join a lawsuit with Kansas, Alaska, Oklahoma and Utah.

“Currently, more than half of the country’s states have joined lawsuits challenging these rules,” she noted.

The lawsuit aims to prevent the implementation of the new Title IX rules, which Degenfelder believes will be invalidated in court.

U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) expressed her support for Degenfelder’s stance. Hageman co-sponsored legislation that would require athletes to compete on teams that match their sex assigned at birth.

“It’s amazing, but telling, that the same people who scolded us about following the science during Covid have attempted to do anything but follow actual science when it comes to men and boys in women’s sports,” she said in an interview.

The new Title IX rules have been met with mixed reactions. Proponents argue that the rules are necessary to protect LGBTQ+ students from discrimination and ensure their rights are upheld in educational settings. Critics, however, contend the rules compromise the safety and fairness of female students, particularly in sports and other sex-segregated activities.

This story was published on June 18, 2024.

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