One of the first cases to investigate a school based on the Biden administration's LGBTQ protections and Title IX interpretation has made its way to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
Although this isn't the first time a school has been investigated by the OCR for discrimination against an LGBTQ student, the case against Alabama's Shelby County Schools is among the first to cite the Biden administration's interpretation of Title IX regulations that protect LGBTQ students, OCR investigator Martin Chen told AL.com.
The case was opened in 2020. However, the student graduated in 2021 and the teacher who allegedly discriminated against the student has retired.
"The accusation is not a representation of who we are as a district,” Shelby County Schools Superintendent Lewis Brooks told local reporters. “I would argue that our district historically, and continually, serves kids, regardless of their ethnicity, their religion, their sexual orientation — we serve our kids in the best way possible, and we will continue to do that."
The case was filed by the mother of a female student who claimed a teacher denied her child placement in a school program during the 2020-21 school year because of "homophobic bigotry," because the student "didn't date guys" and "likes girls."
News of this case comes against a backdrop of increasing challenges to the Biden administration's protections for LGBTQ students from sex discrimination, including its proposal to include LGBTQ students in its interpretation of Title IX. Right-leaning senators and opponents of the protections said in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona that the proposed rules would undermine Title IX's purpose "by making schools and sports unsafe and unfair for women and girls.”