White House Issues Executive Order to Support LGBTQI+ Youth

On June 15, 2022, President Biden issued an Executive Order aimed at protecting LGBTQI+ youth and directing the federal government to use its authority to prevent unlawful discrimination and defend the rights and safety of LGBTQI+ youth. While most of the order seeks to safeguard access to health care, promotes funding and establishment of mental health supports specific to this population, seeks to reduce the use of conversion therapy, seeks to support homeless LGBTQI+ youth and families, and establishes a partnership to address and eliminate inequities in the child welfare system related to LGBTQI+ youth, the order also contains initiatives specific to public schools.

First, the order requires the Secretary of Education to promote the adoption of policies and procedures designed to support the safety, well-being, and academic success of LGBTQI+ students, with the release of sample policies within 200 days of the date of the order. Additionally, the order requires the Secretary of Education to establish a working group on LGBTQI+ students and families to (1) review, revise, develop, and promote guidance, practices, and policies for school districts to promote safe and inclusive learning environments for and to address bullying of LGBTQI+ students; (2) identify practices to ensure school-based health services, including mental health services, are available to and supportive of LGBTQI+ students; (3) seek funding opportunities to support and improve educational and mental health outcomes for LGBTQI+ and other underserved students; and (4) strengthen supportive services for LGBTQI+ students and families facing homelessness.

We will continue to monitor the impact of this Executive Order and provide information on the sample policies and procedures to be developed in support of the school-based initiatives.

We also will continue to monitor and report on the proposed changes to the regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The U.S. Department of Education announced the proposed changes on June 23, 2022. An unofficial copy of the proposed changes is available here, with additional resources here (fact sheet) and here (summary of changes). On July 12, 2022, the proposed regulations were published in the Federal Register, beginning the 60-day comment period. Public comment will be accepted until September 12, 2022. In the meantime, the 2020 Title IX regulations remain in effect.

Please direct questions to an attorney in our Students/Special Education practice group.