COMMISSIONER MANNY DIAZ, JR. AND CHANCELLOR RAYMOND RODRIGUES REJECT PROPOSED FEDERAL TITLE IX RULE
Florida Department of Education | By FDOE Press Office | May 15, 2023
Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. and Chancellor Raymond Rodrigues Reject Proposed Federal Title IX Rule
~ Florida fights against Biden Administration’s destruction of women’s sports ~
Tallahassee, Fla., May 15, 2023 – Today, Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. and Florida Board of Governors Chancellor Raymond Rodrigues demanded the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) withdraw their proposed Title IX rule that threatens athletic opportunities for females across the nation. The intent of Title IX has always been to provide women and girls a level playing field for athletics in education. The proposed rulemaking by the USDOE contradicts this purpose and will erase years of hard-fought opportunities for women athletes by forcing states to allow biological males to participate in female sports. Arkansas, North Carolina and Wyoming signed on to Florida’s effort to protect women’s sports.
“With this proposed rule, the Biden Administration is attempting to bully states into a radical gender ideology that has no basis in science,” said Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “As a father of young daughters, I know the importance of safeguarding sports for girls and women. Florida will continue to protect the rights of biological female students to participate in athletics without being discriminated against by an administration that has chosen to prioritize a political agenda over America’s children.”
“The U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule is an existential threat to women’s sports,” said Ray Rodrigues, chancellor of the State University System of Florida. “As the number one system in higher education in the United States, we are proud of the accomplishments and achievements our female athletes have made in athletics. We will not stand idly by while the U.S. Department of Education seeks to destroy fairness in women’s sports.”
On June 1, 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, preserving opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their strength, skill and abilities in athletic competition. This law prohibits biological male students from participating in sports designated for females, women or girls. Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature recognized if males were permitted to compete against females, females could quickly be excluded from many athletic competitions – causing unequal treatment and discrimination in athletics. An example cited in the Florida’s comment to USDOE is 11-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix, whose best 400-meter time ever is 49.26. In the 2022 season, she would have ranked 689th on the high-school boy’s performance list.
The USDOE’s proposed rulemaking counters Florida’s commitment to provide women and girls equal opportunities in sports. To view Florida’s full comment, please visit: https://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5673/urlt/FloridaTitleIXComment.pdf.