A conservative citizen advocacy group is defending Keller Independent School District against the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union’s claim that district policies acknowledging biological sex are “discriminatory.”
Citizens Defending Freedom said the ACLU’s allegations—that Keller ISD’s bathroom and pronoun policies constitute Title IX civil rights violations—are “baseless.”
CDF dismissed the complaint as a “blatant fundraising effort” and accused the ACLU of attempting to “intimidate” school districts into accepting extremist gender ideologies.
“The ACLU’s complaint against Keller ISD is both factually and legally incorrect,” CDF said in a letter to the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office. “In short, it is nothing more than an attempt to bully Keller ISD and other school districts into silence and submission.”
In June, Keller ISD adopted policies to designate bathrooms and other personal spaces by biological sex and to prevent any student or staff member from being forced to use particular pronouns.
The ACLU responded in August by filing a federal civil rights complaint that accused Keller ISD of violating Title IX, a 1972 law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program receiving federal funds.
CDF noted that Title IX contains provisions that authorize or allow for sex-separate activities and facilities based on biological sex.
“Contrary to the ACLU’s claims, there is no federal or state law that prohibits the actions taken by Keller ISD,” the organization said in a press statement. “CDF contends that interpreting Title IX as the ACLU did would require a distorted, illogical reading of the law, as Title IX explicitly allows for distinctions based on biological sex.”
The ACLU’s reliance on the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County is misplaced. Bostock does not extend to the Title IX context, as courts across the country have affirmed. These decisions align with the Department of Education’s 2021 Memorandum, which acknowledges that Title IX permits and, in some cases, requires consideration of biological sex.
The Texas Attorney General’s office sued the Biden administration in June over its recent Title IX interpretation that equates sex with gender identity or “transgender” status. The lawsuit accused the ACLU and other groups that promote extremist LGBTQ ideologies of “weaponizing” the interpretation.
“Keller ISD is one of a few school districts that has taken the courageous step of recognizing that the best way to protect all students and respect parental authority is to continue to respect the binary distinction between male and female in the school setting,” said attorney Janelle Davis, a CDF ally.
CDF said it views the ACLU’s complaint as “a fundraising effort” that “should not be taken as a valid representation of the facts.”
The group added it believes Keller ISD’s policies are “lawful, appropriate, and in the best interests of all students, including those who identify as transgender.”
Citizens Defending Freedom is a non-profit organization founded in 2021 with county-level chapters that help citizens fight for transparency in local government. CDF currently has chapters in Florida, Georgia and Texas.