Mar 17, 2023

Barton’s college prepares for Title IX policy that protects gender identity

Posted Mar 17, 2023 12:00 PM

Great Bend Post

New federal Title IX regulations from the U.S. Department of Education were released last June, after a review and comment period, the final guidelines are anticipated to be out this May, with schools and colleges across the country expected to follow the regulations at the beginning of 2023-2024 school year. The proposed changes are intended to advance Title IX’s goal of ensuring that no person experiences sex discrimination, sex-based harassment or sexual violence in education.

Barton Community College Title IX Coordinator Cheryl Brown informed the college’s Board of Trustees that the regulations would prohibit policies and practices that prevent a student from participating in a program or activity consistent with their gender identity.

"I think this means anyone can use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, based on this," said Brown. "You pretty much better follow it unless you have a very good reason not to."

Brown said the new regulations do not define how the policy will be applied toward athletics. Separate rulemaking will need to be done to address Title IX’s application to the context of athletics, and what criteria schools may be permitted to use to establish student’s eligibility for participation on a particular male or female team. That question is still up in the air.

"As far as I know, they have not proposed any rules for athletics," said Brown. "The rulemaking process could take up to two years. It may be in the pipeline, but they haven't released anything yet."

As a federal guideline, Barton Community College has little to no say in the regulations. If schools do not comply, their institution is in danger of losing federal funds.