Biden’s Title IX changes mean this locker room horror is coming to a school near you

Incident in Wisconsin locker room shows potential consequences of Title IX changes, especially for girls

The Biden administration is poised to change the definition of sex in Title IX, bringing this 50-year-old law in line with the current transgender moment. But a recent incident in a Wisconsin public school locker room highlights the potential consequences of such changes, particularly for girls. 

With the final rule set to be released soon, there is still time to pause this dangerous reform, or at the very least make changes to protect all students from sexual harassment and discrimination.

On June 23, 2022, President Biden’s Department of Education announced its plan to dramatically broaden the scope of Title IX. While the current rule protects all students from sex discrimination and harassment, the new rule will additionally prohibit "gender identity" discrimination. 

Joe Biden White House

On June 23, 2022, President Biden’s Department of Education announced its plan to dramatically broaden the scope of Title IX. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

What does that mean for students? No one is quite sure. But it is coming to a public school near you in October, when the department is expected to issue a final rule.


The Biden administration has done other things to create confusion on Title IX as well. In April, the department published a separate set of Title IX proposed rules related to athletics. Under these rules, districts would be barred from adopting policies that categorically ban transgender students from participating on teams consistent with their gender identity.

In my home state of Wisconsin, we received an unwelcome preview of at least some unintended consequences of the proposed Title IX regulations. 

trans pride flag

Two demonstrators hold hands while marching under a trans flag in the New York City Pride Parade on June 26, 2022. (Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Following a swim class during first-hour physical education in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, four freshmen girls rinsed off in the women’s’ locker room. As was their normal practice, they kept their swimsuits on. But as they were showering, an adult male student entered the locker room, undressed, exposed his genitalia, and showered next to the girls, casually announcing, "I’m trans by the way."

While this incident is upsetting, what is perhaps equally concerning is that the district administrators failed to do anything for the girls when they learned what happened.

When one of the girl’s friends informed student services and the assistant principal, no one reached out to the girls to offer support, gather more information, or provide an opportunity to file a complaint. 



When the parents finally found out and contacted the school, the principal told the parents this incident should not have happened, but there was no follow up. Eventually, the parents were granted an in-person meeting a month after the incident.

In April the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, where I’m an attorney, sent a letter to the school board demanding answers. Sun Prairie has yet to identify a policy regarding who, when and how males and females may use district locker rooms, although it is clear that it is part of the school’s mission to practice gender ideology.

Unfortunately, Sun Prairie is not an isolated incident – others have been reported across the country and likely many others have gone unreported. For instance, a father and daughter in Vermont, with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), filed a lawsuit in October 2022 after the daughter was punished by the district for harassment and bullying after she spoke up about the danger and absurdity of a biological male being allowed to be present around girls changing in a female locker room

And in 2016, ADF filed a lawsuit on behalf of 51 families against a school in the suburban Chicago district of Palatine for a school policy that allowed a biological male to change in the girls’ locker room.

The most basic job of a school is to educate our kids and keep them safe, and Title IX is intended to protect girls and women from sexual harassment in school. But if the Biden administration goes through with its current proposed changes, the very purpose of Title IX will be turned on its head.  


Many school leaders and government officials have tried to convince people that this fight is about providing rights for underprivileged trans people. But they have that totally backwards. 

The proposed changes to Title IX and policies from the schools mentioned above are taking away the protections and rights that were hard-fought for women and girls, putting the entire school-age female population in harm’s way. The Biden administration still has time to get this right and make a stand to protect women.

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