BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – This week State Superintendent Cade Brumley released a statement about the proposed expansion of Title IX protections that lay out specific guidelines for transgender youth that was announced earlier in the summer by the Biden Administration. He stated the guidelines are not enforceable and the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) is against the proposed changes.

In his statement to system leaders, school boards, and Athletic Association, Brumley said the guidelines “…were prematurely issued by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture…Louisiana Department of Education does not agree with the proposed changes nor do we recognize the…guidance documents as binding or enforceable at this time.”

The letter states he had been getting a lot of questions from school boards about if the changes were already in effect. He points to the proposed changes being in the public comment phase of the process which will end on Sept. 12. After the comments are reviewed the final rule will be released.

Brumley reached out to the USDOE to see if Louisiana will be penalized for not following the rule – since about 13% of LDOE’s funding is from the federal government.

A representative from the USDOE’s Office of Civil Rights responded by stating, “It would be premature for the Department to answer specific questions about the application of the proposed rule outside the rulemaking process or before the Department has had the opportunity to review and consider all comments submitted.”

Forum for Equality, an LGBTQ advocacy group, said LGBTQ students especially need to be protected.

“I think it sends the wrong message to students going back into the classroom and I think that it doesn’t give us any answers on what we should be doing within our school districts to protect and respect gay and trans students,” Executive Director SarahJane Guidry said.

Brumley points out that the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” which bans transgender girls from competing on girl’s sports teams in school, was overwhelmingly passed in the legislature and LSHAA has rules on the books banning those players as well.

“The guidelines were put out in response to the attacks that legislatures like the one here in Louisiana have put on trans athletes and trans students… the guidelines are going to be looking at how they are going to be able to access gym facilities, how they’re going to be able to access bathrooms, and what the schools should be doing in response to that,” Guidry said.

State Rep. Valerie Hodges, R-Denham Springs, tweeted support for the letter as she did support the ban on transgender athletes on school teams.

“La. Dept of [Education] [response] to Biden’s radical and ridiculous changes to Title IX. Thank you for standing for children,” Rep. Hodges said.

Guidry points to LGBTQ youth being a vulnerable population and in need of support.

It is not clear if the guidelines will put Louisiana’s funding in jeopardy for not following the final rule when it is released.

“I think it depends on how the administration ends up publishing the policy and how it goes into effect. So that is really up into the air at this moment. They could remain guidelines which don’t have the force of law,” Guidry said.

The public can share their input on the guidelines on the Federal Register website.