Tommy Wright: Let’s talk about some college madness

Published 12:00 pm Friday, May 3, 2024

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While it hasn’t received a great deal of press, the Biden administration’s recent change to Title IX guidance represents a change in the way Federal rules require educational institutions to deal with alleged sexual harassment and discrimination. 

The Biden administration’s re-write, which was released in early April, rolls back most of the changes put in place under the Trump administration.

Specifically, the new rules reflect — at least according to the administration — the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court case Bostock v. Clayton County.

In that 2020 decision, a 6-3 Supreme Court held that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is included under the rubric of discrimination based on sex.

As such, the new rules require that educational institutions subject to Title IX cannot prevent someone from participating in school activities consistent with their gender identity.

Title IX itself carves out gender-separated living accommodations and participation in sports. As such, those two domains are not subject to the new, wider interpretation of sex discrimination.

The new rules also introduce a much weaker standard of proof when someone is accused of sexual discrimination under Title IX — the “preponderance of the evidence” as opposed to “clear and convincing evidence.”

Unraveling these new rules and applying them to existing educational structures will take time, but at the end of the day, these standards represent a massive expansion of what is considered discrimination under Federal law.


What began in New York as a protest Israel’s actions to defend itself in Gaza has now spread nationwide, including to college campuses in Virginia.

Campus protests are as old as campuses themselves, but these events have taken on a disturbing antisemitic character.

At Columbia and other campuses, Jewish students were advised not to return to campus due to antisemitic harassment related to protests.

Freedom of Speech is a bedrock of our republic, and even the most vile and unpopular speech is protected.

As Governor Youngkin and Attorney General Miyares made clear, intimidation and violation of public order will not be tolerated in Virginia.

Our campuses must be safe for everyone. Those who would violate that bedrock principle will be held accountable.

The marked rise of antisemitism in our country and our Commonwealth is utterly unacceptable.

Antisemitism is the oldest prejudice, and it has no place in our society. Anywhere.

Republicans are committed to fighting antisemitism wherever it appears in Virginia.

During the past session, we introduced legislation that would have barred the Commonwealth from doing business with any business that actively practiced boycotts and divestment in the State of Israel.

While Democrats defeated that bill in committee, they refused to even hear legislation that would have required Virginia’s colleges to certify that their DEI programs did not encourage antisemitism.

House Republicans stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters, and we will not sit idly by as they are persecuted.

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at or (804) 698-1061