This is what we are seeing happen now, as the Department of Education has threatened to withhold federal funds from several Connecticut school districts, claiming the schools are violating federal anti-discrimination laws by allowing transgender students to compete in athletics. They claim that because the school districts are members of a statewide student athletics conference with a policy of permitting students to participate in athletics in accordance with their gender identity, they are in violation of Title IX, which protects students from discrimination in education.
If the school districts don’t comply with the Education Department’s demands to leave the conference by October 1, they stand to lose around $18 million dollars meant for school desegregation programs. It’s just the latest front in a national campaign, spearheaded by the conservative Christian organization the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), to launch another panic like the one over transgender students and school bathrooms, which they also helped spread.
Last year, ADF identified three students in Connecticut school districts who say they have been discriminated against, as cis girls in student athletics programs, by the participation of trans girls. (ADF also refuses to acknowledge that the trans girl athletes are girls.) They filed a complaint on their behalf with the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights. As ACLU Connecticut Legal Director Dan Barrett told Outsports at the time, “This complaint is just another way of taking away personal autonomy and making the government ‘the gender police’. That’s offensive and it’s just another attack on trans people.”