All SW La. school districts support Title IX lawsuit

By Emily Burleigh

Every public school district in Southwest Louisiana supports the Title IX lawsuit that was filed against the U.S. Department of Education last month.

On April 29, Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill announced the state of Louisiana and the Louisiana Department of Education filed suit over the new rules under Title IX, a federal statute that prohibits sex discrimination in education facilities that receive federal funding.

The changes expanded the meaning of prohibited sex discrimination to add protections for transgender students. Critics of the final rule say the changes will negatively affect female students and burden school districts with increased complaint investigations, obligation, compliance costs and liability risks.

The new rules will take effect on Aug. 1.

Last week, the Calcasieu and Cameron parish school boards unanimously voted to support the state, the LDOE and the 25 other GOP-led states participating in the litigation at their regular meetings. With the passage of the resolutions, they joined Allen, Beauregard and Jefferson Davis parishes in their vocal support of the suit.

BPSB passed a resolution pledging their support at the regular meeting on May 9.

Cameron Parish Superintendent Charley Lemons told the American Press the Cameron Parish School Board did not join the lawsuit because they were past the deadline for joining.

Close to home, the Vernon Parish School Board alerted the American Press on Sunday that VPSB supports the lawsuit. Rick Smith, media relations for VPSB, said the board is exploring the possibility of joining the litigation.

Both the Allen and Jefferson Davis parish school boards passed resolutions to join the suit earlier this month, and are the only local school boards that have officially announced participation.

The total number of parishes that have officially joined the suit is 18. Other participating school boards include: Acadia, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, DeSoto, Franklin, Grant, LaSalle, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, Sabine, St. Tammany, Webster and West Carroll parishes.

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