In April of 2024, the U.S. Department of Education released a final rule that affirms that Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, transgender status, and other sex-based characteristics and stereotypes.

This is a clear statement that federal law protects LGBTQ+ students from discrimination in public schools and that the Office of Civil Rights will investigate complaints.

The rule also reinstates broad protections and remedies for students who experience sex-based harassment, removing onerous complaint resolution procedures instituted by the prior administration, and providing much-needed updates regarding the rights of pregnant and parenting students.


What does this new rule mean for my school?

The federal Department of Education has instructed all schools that receive federal funding to update or adopt policies that comply with these Title IX regulations.

When must my school/university implement the new Title IX regulations?

New Title IX regulations must be adopted by August 1, 2024

Who is better protected by the new regulations?

The final regulations provide greater clarity regarding: the definition of “sex-based harassment”; the scope of sex discrimination, including schools’ obligations not to discriminate based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity; and schools’ obligations to provide an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex (including LGBTQ+ students).

Does Title IX protect me as an LGBTQ+ student?

Yes! The rule prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics in federally funded education programs. The rule applies the reasoning of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status is discrimination because of sex.

This means that schools must protect LGBTQ students from harassment and discrimination and cannot treat LGBTQ students differently from other students, including in sex-separated facilities – like access to bathrooms and locker rooms – and school programs.

Does the ruling say anything about transgender athletes?

The final regulations do not include specific language about sports.

However, several courts have said that banning all transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams or all transgender boys from playing on boys’ sports teams violates Title IX.

Are there exceptions to what Title IX covers?

Yes, there are some exceptions.

However, no one can be denied the benefits of the new regulations from educational institutions receiving federal financial assistance.

You can find further information regarding exemptions here.

State Laws and How to Get Help

  • It is important to note that in New England state laws also provide protections, sometimes greater than those at the federal level, and are often the first place to start when looking for support
    • You can find state-specific resources for dealing with bullying and harassment due to LGBTQ+ status or perceived status at schools here
  • If you have exhausted state-based resources or want to learn more about your rights under Title IX, you can find Title IX-specific information and resources here as well as the US Department of Education’s 2024 Ruling Fact Sheet here, where much of the information above has been pulled from
  • If you need more information or have questions about what to do if you or your child is experiencing discrimination, bullying, or harassment at school, contact GLAD Answers

A Note About Lawsuits Challenging the New Title IX Regulations

Some states that have passed anti-LGBTQ laws in recent years are currently challenging the new Title IX regulations in court.  However, no court rulings have yet been issued. Schools should be prepared to implement the new regulations by August 1, 2024.