Department of Education seeks to prevent “categorical ban” of transgender athletes

Many states have passed laws prohibiting the participation of transgender girls in school athletics but a potential update to Title IX from the Department of Education could make those changes irrelevant.

The U.S. Department of Education announced new proposed regulations around transgender student participation in school-sponsored sports. According to a press release from the Department of Education, under the new regulations schools would no longer be able to categorically ban transgender students from participating in school sports. Instead, they would make decisions on a case-by-case basis:

“Students in different grades and education levels have different levels of athletic skill, and schools offer sports teams for different reasons depending on students’ grade or education level. For example, teams for younger students often focus on building teamwork, fitness, and basic skills for students who are just learning about the sport, while a collegiate team may be primarily focused on competitive success. That’s one reason why the Department expects that, under its proposed regulation, elementary school students would generally be able to participate on school sports teams consistent with their gender identity where considerations may be different for competitive high school and college teams.”

If the new regulations take effect they will overrule any existing state legislation and likely trigger a federal lawsuit.

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