Keller ISD board members unanimously approved a resolution during their regular meeting June 20 to denounce recent policy changes announced by the Biden administration.

The details

The approved resolution focuses on policies related to transgender athletes and gender identity. The resolution states, in part, the following:
  • "The proposed changes to Title IX redefine 'sex' to include 'gender identity' which will cause immeasurable harm to women and girls by stripping them of the legal protections Title IX was intended to afford them."
  • "These changes will force schools to allow biological males to participate in women’s sports; use their restrooms, locker rooms and other sex-specific spaces; and schools that refuse will risk losing federal education funding."
  • "There are physical differences between biological males and biological females; these differences do not disappear because an individual wills it to be so, and so allowing biological males into female-specific spaces poses not only a safety risk to girls and women but sends a chilling message to future generations of girls and undermines their efforts and achievements."
The backstory

According to Keller ISD documents, Title IX has historically served to protect students from discrimination based on sex in educational programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. Furthermore, Title IX has sought to eliminate discrimination against women in education, and to provide men and women with equal educational opportunities.

According to an April 22 news release from the American Council on Education, the new regulations—set to take effect Aug. 1—introduce significant shifts in how institutions address sexual harassment and assault allegations while expanding protections for LGBTQ+ and pregnant students.

These new regulations include:
  • Eliminating the mandate for live hearings with cross-examination as part of campus disciplinary processes for resolving sexual assault
  • A new definition of sexual harassment
  • Extending jurisdiction to off-campus and international incidents
  • Clarifying protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy and parenting status
The news release states the proposal on transgender participation on specific men and women athletics teams is absent from the changes slated to take place on Aug. 1. It is being delayed until after the November election.

Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to President Joe Biden on April 29 stating the president exceeded his constitutional authority in rewriting certain aspects of Title IX of the education amendments of 1972. Abbott has instructed the Texas Education Agency to ignore the changes.

What they’re saying

Place 5 trustee Chris Coker said the Title IX changes are “an attempt at extreme government overreach.”

Place 2 trustee Joni Shaw Smith noted her support for the board's resolution, specifically its stance on transgender athletes.

“This resolution is not political posturing,” Smith said. “It is a way of protecting the safety of our biologically female athletes, and preserving the integrity of women’s sports and equal opportunities for women and girls.”

Copies of the approved resolution will be sent to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath, the Texas State Board of Education, state legislators representing Keller ISD and all relevant stakeholders, according to district documents.