The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will change interpretation of Title IX prohibitions on discrimination based on sex “to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The Biden Administration rule ties billions of dollars in federal education funding to such policies. The change means “schools that accept any kind of funding, including receiving FAFSA or Pell grants or students who receive federally subsidized school lunch funding, will be subject to the new Title IX LGBT interpretation” reports The Center Square.
In a statement, the USDA stated “As a result, state and local agencies, program operators and sponsors that receive funds from FNS must investigate allegations of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.”
“Those organizations must also update their non-discrimination policies and signage to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.”
“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,” the White House said January of last year.
The Biden administration said in its announcement this is a push toward “equity and fairness.”
“USDA is committed to administering all its programs with equity and fairness, and serving those in need with the highest dignity,” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said.
“A key step in advancing these principles is rooting out discrimination in any form – including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Sarah Perry, a legal expert at the Heritage Foundation expressed the downsides of the rule:
“A third [change] that is unspoken and won’t appear in the new rule but will have implications, it will be essentially a muzzling of free speech for individuals who for example don’t toe the party line on gender identity and will be forced … to use an individual’s preferred pronouns or be faced potentially with Title IX sex discrimination charges,” Perry said.
“So it will not only require the adherence to these beliefs. It will force speech. It will compel speech in violation of the First Amendment, and we have yet to even examine fully the parameters of how that is going to play out in the court room…”
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Antisemitism prompts House Education Committee to investigate Harvard, MIT, UPenn
The House Education and the Workforce Committee announced Thursday it will investigate Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania over allegations that the prestigious colleges have failed to address rampant antisemitism on their campuses.
The announcement comes after Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) and fellow committee Republicans questioned Harvard president Claudine Gay, University of Pennsylvania president Liz Magill, and MIT President Sally Kornbluth Tuesday in a hearing on the rise of antisemitism in the wake of the Hamas attack of October 7.
“After this week’s pathetic and morally bankrupt testimony by university presidents when answering my questions, the Education and Workforce Committee is launching an official Congressional investigation with the full force of subpoena power into Penn, MIT, & Harvard and others,” Stefanik said in a statement.
Pressed on whether calls for “intifada” and chants such as “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free,” which calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, violate campus codes of conduct, the university presidents argued that the slogans fell within the bounds of protected speech and said they could not interfere unless demonstrations degenerated into physical violence.
Asked specifically whether “calling for Jewish genocide” constitutes an infringement of school policy, the presidents argued that such a statement would also fall within the bounds of protected speech. But their administrations have staked out a different position with respect to speech that allegedly threatens the safety of so-called marginalized communities on campus. Harvard is ranked dead last on the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression’s free-speech ranking list.
National Review reports:
Within 24 hours, following public backlash to their blasé attitudes, Gay and Magill issued supplementary statements assuring that they condemn calls for genocide against the Jewish community.
House Education and Workforce chairwoman Virginia Foxx said the presidents’ poor showing has created “deep concerns with their leadership.” Demands that the presidents resign have circulated on X. The committee’s probe will look into the college’s learning environments, policies, and disciplinary protocols.
“This investigation will include substantial document requests, and the Committee will not hesitate to utilize compulsory measures including subpoenas if a full response is not immediately forthcoming,” Foxx said in a statement.“Other universities should expect investigations as well, as their litany of similar failures has not gone unnoticed.”
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