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The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

Opinion: Changes to Title IX Educational Regulations

screenshot of U.S. Department of Education logo
Katherine Horgan
screenshot of U.S. Department of Education logo

Title IX, being a decree of high interest among young people due to its subject, has recently undergone more changes. According to U.S. EPA (.gov), the 1972 Title IX (as of 2023) is briefed, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 

So, what does that really mean?

Those regulations were instituted to ensure that all scholarships and education based opportunities shall be provided for both men and women equally. To provide a simple example: to make sports recruiting equitable, the same benefits and chances should be at hand for both male and female athletes depending on skill. 

As of April 19, 2024, there has been a change. Released by the press, titled “U.S. Department of Education Releases Final Title IX Regulations, Providing Vital Protections Against Sex Discrimination” it provides an overview of what has been reinstated by the Department of Education. It appears to mainly focus on eliminating stereotypes and discrimination involving sexual identity, pregnancies, and sexual harassment. 

Groups with higher discriminatory rates are often provided with some sort of accommodations in order to protect them and provide them with a safe environment; however, is this beginning to swap the roles of traditionally “privileged” groups and “oppressed” groups?

There is a fine line between overcompensation as justification for past oppression, and awareness with acknowledgements of past faults to prevent ideological regression. With these recent changes it may begin to drag us backward leading to hurting even more groups of people. Title IX was made to give equal educational rights to women, is it starting to take that away?

In June 2022, the New York Times published an article titled “Title IX Gave Women Greater Access to Education. Here’s What It Says and Does.” It discusses some of the significant impacts that Title IX provides in the lives we take for granted every day. “The most visible changes were seen in gymnasiums, fields and courts across the United States — young women were entitled to the same athletic opportunities as their male counterparts at schools.” 

1972 Title IX was clearly placed to institute equity in the education of both sexes. Equitable does not mean equal; educational experiences do not need to be the same for every student in order to achieve success. As defined by Oxford Languages, equal means- “being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value.” So the real question is: should there have to be equality between men’s and women’s educational opportunities when biologically males and females are not “the same in quantity, size, degree, or value?”

With that, 2024 Title IX was clearly placed to ensure equality between different genders. Should gender really be a basis for laws and regulations when it is defined as a “reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones” by the World Health Organization? Diving deeper into that, it is made clear that there is no real difference in the actual biological makeup of the person regardless of what gender they refer to themselves as. This leads to the conclusion that gender construct should remain completely irrelevant in those decisions.

The Title IX of 2024 “Summary of Major Provisions of the Department of Education’s Title IX” states that, “preventing a person from participating in a recipient’s education program or activity consistent with their gender identity subjects that person to more than de minimis harm” which again was just addressed in the fact that the two biological sexes are different so they should receive different opportunities that cater to their bodies instead of their identities.

The part that makes sense is where it prohibits the actual discrimination against who people are, not including what they are allowed to do because of it, “The final regulations clarify that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. (§ 106.10)” But what creates questions is when it declares, “Sex-based harassment is a form of sex discrimination and means sexual harassment and other harassment on the basis of sex, including on the bases described in § 106.10.”

What does that even mean? Would a few questioning comments against someone’s sexual orientation from a confused child provoke a sexual harassment charge? Or could it help people whose reputations are being damaged due to harsh stereotypes against their sexual characteristics? How will this impact our schools?

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About the Contributor
Katherine Horgan
Katherine Horgan, Reporter
Katherine Horgan is part of the Class of 2026 at Oakmont Regional High School. This is her first year being part of The Oakmonitor. She does spring track last and cross country and is also class treasurer. Katherine works at Wachusett Mountain although she doesn’t find it enjoyable. In her free time, she loves to ski, snowboard, bike, and play with her dog. She enjoys swimming in the summer, camping, late night walks, and partying with friends. Katherine loves to spend time outdoors, go on adventures, and get a thrill. She is excited to write more stuff while being a part of The Oakmontitor.

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