Biden education head defends biological boys in girls sports, not telling parents about trans kids
Education Secretary Michael Cardona also testified that the Biden administration supports giving federal financial aid to "Dreamers."
President Joe Biden's Education Secretary Michael Cardona said biological males should be able to compete against girls in school sports and that schools should not have to tell parents about their child's gender transition.
During a House Education and Labor Committee hearing on Thursday, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) asked Cardona how his department could adhere to Title IX, which is meant to protect women and stop sex-based discrimination, while his agency is "currently pushing a rule to force every school in America to add 'non-binary' as a sex characteristic."
Cardona said the administration is not encouraging the non-binary category but is "allowing states to report whatever classifications they have in their states."
"Mr. Secretary, do you believe that biological male athletes competing in women's sports are in conflict with Title IX protections for female athletes?" Banks followed up.
Cardona responded that he wants to talk about the budget and he is "proud of the Title IX regulations."
When pressed further by Banks, the secretary responded, "I believe all children should have an opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities."
The Indiana Republican said the Biden administration has "decimated Title IX" and asked whether it is "fair or not for biological boys to compete against girls in sports."
"I believe all students should have access to sport[s]," Cardona replied, as the exchange heated up.
"So do you support biological boys competing against girls in sports?" Banks asked.
"I believe I answered the question," Cardona answered, adding, "I believe transgender girls should have access to sports."
The secretary said, "Our transgender students need to feel supported, included and seen and your, your line of questioning is, is, even by describing it the way you're doing it, shows me that you don't believe that all students should have access to, to the extracurricular activities that schools provide."
Banks changed the topic to ask about the administration's stance on keeping a student's gender transition secret from their parents.
"I would love to answer questions on the budget, which is why I'm here," Cardona responded.
"These are policies that your administration stands behind," the Indiana congressman fired back. "You're asking me to fund your budget, and these are policies that you stand for. It's completely relevant to why you're here today."
It is best to work with parents, Cardona acknowledged, but added, "Our schools are safe places for our students, and our teachers are often the front-liners when it comes to supporting students."
Cardona testified that the Biden administration supports giving federal financial aid to "Dreamers," or illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors.
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wisc.) asked about the Biden administration's stance on providing "free or almost free college for people here illegally."
"The Biden administration has been very clear that we do support ensuring Dreamers have an opportunity for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant," Cardona replied. "These are students who are making a big difference in their communities."
The education secretary made headlines earlier this year after reports surfaced that he solicited the controversial National School Boards Association letter last fall that conflated concerned parents with domestic terrorists.