Headmaster Jeff Philbrick joined the common voice from the NH Christian schools in response to the Department of Education's proposed expansion of Title IX. Title IX, 50 years old this year, was a landmark ruling, opening educational opportunities for girls all over the country. Today, as the DOE totters on how to define boys and girls, the stability of education for boys and girls of the future is threatened.
RE: Docket ID: ED-2021-OCR-0166 – Public Comment
"Dear Sir or Madam,
My name is Jeffrey Philbrick. I am the founder and headmaster of Jesse Remington High School (https://www.jrhs.org/) in Candia, New Hampshire. I am writing to express my deep concerns about the proposed changes to the Title IX Regulations. Specifically, I am concerned with the threats to constitutional rights and the well-being of students that will occur if these changes take place.
The U.S. Department of Education’s proposal to rewrite Title IX’s implementing regulations to expand the law’s scope—without Congressional approval—to include sexual orientation and gender identity will have disastrous consequences for the well-being of children, the safety and privacy of girls, women’s athletics, First Amendment rights for all Americans, and parental rights.
First, I am concerned that the proposed regulations would threaten students’ (and particularly girls’) privacy and safety. Schools would be required to permit males who identify as females to use privacy facilities for females, and vice versa. Females will have to surrender their privacy to males based on gender ideology and will be placed at increased risk for harassment and assault by males who claim female identity. School administrators will be put in the potentially compromising position of having to monitor students of the opposite sex while they are using the bathroom. The evidence shows that this is not a hypothetical risk. For instance, a teenage boy has been charged with sexually assaulting a girl in a female restroom at a school in Virginia. The boy was in the restroom because he claimed to have female gender identity.
In addition to the risks to girls’ safety and privacy, the proposed regulations would put thousands of students at risk of severe medical alterations. Studies show that if not socially transitioned, 61% to 98% of children will come to terms with their biological sex. But if transitioned, children will be less likely to reconnect with their sex. These proposed regulations will encourage many children to pursue chemical and surgical alterations that have irreversible life-altering consequences like sterility and life-long sexual dysfunction, interrupting healthy growth and development, and other serious risks, like loss of bone density, cognitive problems, blood clots, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Such things are already happening, as evidenced by the social trend of groups of young girls deciding to transition together.
Second, I am concerned that the proposed regulations would harm girls’ athletic opportunities by requiring sports teams to be based on gender identity instead of biological sex. This will force girls and women to compete against men and will put them at an unfair disadvantage for athletic opportunities and scholarships. It will also put female athletes at a higher risk of injury, particularly in combat or close-contact sports. This is already happening throughout the country. For instance, in Connecticut, the fastest women’s sprinter in the state was demolished by a male student who claimed to be a female, losing her rightful place atop the podium. A male UFC fighter claiming to be a female beat his female opponent so brutally that she suffered a broken skull and permanent brain damage. These atrocities will only increase in severity and frequency if the proposed regulations are passed.
Third, I am concerned that the proposed regulations would result in a violate of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Free Speech Clause of the U.S. Constitution protects American citizens’ right to speak freely and openly about their views, and the proposed regulations would directly violate this guarantee by making the holding of one side of contentious public debate a form of sex-based harassment. It would be like passing a law stating that anyone who held pro-abortion views (a similarly hotly contested view) was a federal sex offender. The proposed regulations will promote gender identity ideology in our schools as mandated policy, encouraging students to believe that they can be “born in the wrong body,” even though thousands of good-faith Americans believe that such a thing is biologically impossible. This kind of mandated speech is unacceptable under every one of the U.S. Supreme Court’s free speech cases, including West Virginia Board of Education v Barnette, which held that students could not be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and Tinker v Des Moines, which held that students’ wearing of black armbands to protest the Vietnam War was protected speech. In both of these cases, the issue at hand was hotly contested by many Americans on both sides, and the Supreme Court recognized that the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment allowed both sides to express their viewpoints. The proposed regulations would directly contradict those precedents and violate the First Amendment.
Fourth, I am concerned that the proposed regulations would infringe the religious liberty of many Americans. Religious liberty is protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The proposed regulations would violate the Free Exercise Clause by forcing thousands of Americans to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. As noted above, many Americans have good-faith religious beliefs that contradict the proposed regulations. Such beliefs are protected by the Free Exercise Clause, yet the proposed regulations would overrule that protection in service of radical gender ideology and violate students’ and teachers’ right to treat others in a manner consistent with their faith.
For these reasons, I strongly urge you to abandon these changes to the Title IX regulations.
Jeffrey C. Philbrick
Headmaster, Jesse Remington High School"