Cal Matters: How new Title IX rules could affect California’s transgender and nonbinary students
December 30. 2022
ERA Staff Attorney Kel O’Hara is featured in a Cal Matters article about trans and nonbinary students’ rights under Title IX, particularly after changes to the law made by the Biden Administration.
Among other changes, the guidelines require colleges to monitor their campuses for gender discrimination and “take prompt and effective action” to fix it — stronger language than the previous requirement to be “not deliberately indifferent.” And by explicitly writing in protections, they ensure that anti-LGBTQ discrimination can be handled under Title IX instead of being rerouted to other disciplinary processes, said Kel O’Hara, a staff attorney at Equal Rights Advocates, a legal and advocacy organization specializing in gender issues.
O’Hara, the Equal Rights Advocates attorney, said that when representing students in Title IX proceedings, they have been misgendered by Title IX coordinators and so have their clients.
“If you’re trying to seek safety and protection and resolution on campus, but the people you’re interacting with barely understand you, that doesn’t feel safe, that doesn’t feel OK,” O’Hara said.
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