Public Comment

Department of Education’s Title IX Hearings: Public Comment

June 2021

In May 2021, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced a series of virtual public hearings to gather information that could improve enforcement of Title IX, including on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in school settings.

Public Comment

Issue

Title IX provides protections from sex discrimination in educational environments. In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that prohibitions on sex discrimination encompass discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Impact

Despite greater clarity from the courts and the Department of Justice on Title IX enforcement and protections, research shows that discrimination against LGBTQ students and school employees persists. Additionally, data collections intended to assist the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in enforcing Title IX often fail to gather relevant information related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Summary

The comment presents research illustrating the widespread stigma, discrimination, harassment, and violence that LGBTQ people face in schools. It also demonstrates the impact of discrimination on LGBT people in educational settings, including lower educational attainment for students and increased minority stress for LGBT students and employees. The comment provides recommendations to OCR, such as clearly stating in regulations that “on the basis of sex” encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as well as sex stereotyping discrimination; increasing collection of data on LGBTQ experiences of discrimination; and improving procedures, protections, and tracking of LGBTQ people who file claims of discrimination.

Download the full comment

Department of Education’s Title IX Hearings: Public Comment