Prairie Action ND

North Dakota Joins Lawsuit Against U.S. Department of Education Over New Title IX Regulations; ACLU Commentss

By: Janna Farley, Communications Director, ACLU

May 7, 2024

Trans youth continue to be used by elected leaders in North Dakota as a political punching bag as Attorney General Drew Wrigley joins five other state attorneys general filing suit against the U.S. Department of Education over updated regulations that make it clear that Title IX covers harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex stereotypes.

These new regulations, issued in April, outline schools’ obligations to guarantee that all students – including survivors of sexual harassment, LGBTQ+ students, and pregnant and parenting students – have full and equal access to educational opportunities regardless of sex and details that a trans person cannot be prevented from participating in an educational program or activity consistent with their gender identity.

The following statement can be attributed to Cody Schuler, ACLU of North Dakota advocacy manager: 

“This lawsuit is little more than political grandstanding and is just another attempt to erase transgender people from society while stirring up support from their base of anti-trans activists with fear-mongering tactics and discriminatory rhetoric that harm some of the most vulnerable people in our state.

“If our elected leaders really wanted to protect and promote opportunities for girls and women in education and sports, they would be tackling and addressing the real problems, such as severe underfunding, lack of media coverage, sexist ideologies that suggest that women and girls are weak, and pay equity for coaches and players.

“Trans students participate in sports for the same reasons other young people do: to challenge themselves, improve fitness, and be part of a team. Transgender youth in North Dakota deserve all of the benefits that come with participating in sports. They also deserve joy, opportunity, and protection, not more bullying from our elected officials.”