Miltenberg: “Title IX Standoff on Greenwich School Board Turns to Closed-Door Meetings, Concerns About Trans Athletes,” Greenwich Time


GREENWICH — The Board of Education went into executive session on the recent Transgender Day of Visibility to mull over excluding a sentence from its proposed student Title IX policy for the Greenwich Public Schools: “Discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex includes discrimination or harassment on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.” This sentence was included in a staff Title IX policy that the board approved unanimously Jan. 20, but board members were divided along party lines about passing the proposed student policy. During that meeting, board members Joe Kelly and Karen Kowalski voiced concerns about women’s athletics if transgender women were to enter the arena. Since then, the board has met twice in executive session, away from the public eye, to review a document or documents prepared by its attorneys about Title IX, a landmark federal civil rights law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 to prevent sex-based discrimination in schools. The school board’s Policy Governance Committee is working to find a policy as similar to the original proposal as possible while pleasing members that voted against it in January, chair Christina Downey said. But that position would appear to contradict the policy of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which permits athletes to compete with teams according to the “gender identification of that student.” And if the district were to leave out a statement affirming gender identity and sexual orientation as sex discrimination, it would be “basically inviting someone to sue,” said lawyer Andrew Miltenberg, of Nesenoff & Miltenberg in New York City who specializes in Title IX cases.

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