Federal Department of Education to Toss Virginia Schools a Live Grenade

by James C. Sherlock

The Office of Civil Rights of the Biden Department of Education has published a revised Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) data set. Some statistics:

  • Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection.
  • Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, or Tribal Governments.
  • Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 17,884.
  • Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 2,175,866.

They consider a thousand man-years a small price to pay for the data they want. But that is just the beginning of the price that will be paid.

The new federal requirements include gender identity data collection and reporting for every child in Virginia public schools.

Multiple gender choices are specified to include male, female and non-binary. Another section requires school staff to determine whether a student “identifies as or is perceived to be transgender, cisgender, or nonbinary.”

Teachers and counselors presumably will have to make the call on how each student identifies. Think teachers are dissatisfied now? Wait until this hits. No guidelines on checking with parents.

You will note that the data requested are by definition unscientific. Assembling massive quantities of data unscientific at the source does not by alchemy create an aggregation that is scientific. But the DOE intends to treat it as such.

Indeed, the Office of Civil Rights is clear on its plan to use the data to sue for any violation of whatever standards it creates for “equity” in treatment of these sexually labeled children.

Gathering of these data is not identified as an issue by the feds.

Wanna bet?

Among the many changes labeled Revised! or New! (color and bold are in document) in that mandatory data set sits a grenade with the pin pulled.

New! category requires each school to collect and report information on how each student “identifies” as male, female or non-binary. Yes, six-year-olds are included. We would not expect anything else.

Feeling its oats, that same office has posted a request for information targeted to renew the infamous Obama administration “Dear Colleague” letter on the Nondiscriminatory Administration of School Discipline that had been cancelled by Betsy DeVos.

What could possibly go wrong?

Sexual Identity Reporting.

Category Name:    Sex (Membership)—Expanded
Definition An indication that students are either female or male.
Comments Nonbinary refers to a student who does not identify exclusively as male or female.  Nonbinary does not refer to a transgender student who identifies exclusively as either male or female.
Permitted Values
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nonbinary
Data Groups
  • 900 Advanced Placement course by subject enrollment table
  • 901 Advanced Placement course enrollment table
  • 908 Algebra I course enrollment—grade 7-8 Revised!
  • 909 Algebra I course enrollment—high school
  • 911 Algebra I course passing—grades 7-8 Revised!
  • 912 Algebra I course passing—high school
  • 1013 Computer science course enrollment—high school
  • 1031 Data science course enrollment—high school New!
  • 922 Discipline of students with disabilities (IDEA and Section 504) table
  • 923Discipline of students without disabilities table
  • 993Distance education student enrollment table
  • 994 Dual enrollment/dual credit program student enrollment
  • 946 English learner students
  • 947 English learner students in EL programs
  • 931 Gifted/talented program enrollment table
  • 934 Harassment or bullying—students disciplined table
  • 935 Harassment or bullying—students reported as harassed or bullied table
  • 929 High school equivalency exam preparation program participation table
  • 936 International Baccalaureate Programme enrollment table
  • 1036 Interscholastic athletics participants New!
  • 951 Mathematics course enrollment—high school
  • 979 Membership
  • 959 Restraint or seclusion for IDEA students table
  • 960 Restraint or seclusion for non-IDEA students table
  • 963 Retention table
  • 964 SAT or ACT test participation table
  • 966 School days missed due to out-of-school suspensions table
  • 974 Science course enrollment—high school
  • 980 Students with disabilities served under IDEA
  • 981 Students with disabilities served under Section 504 only

Another attachment to the CRDC report requires determinations whether a student is harassed, attacked, etc. because a student “identifies as or is perceived to be transgender, cisgender, or nonbinary”.

Everybody gets to play.

This attachment contains the details of sets of related data entries known as data groups (DG) that are used for the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) collected from state educational agencies (SEA) (VDOE), local educational agencies (LEA) (in Virginia school divisions), and schools.

No one should be surprised that the Biden administration is going this route. The sexualization of children by dividing them into sexual identity groupings is among the highest priorities of the progressive wing of the Democratic party.

The sexual identification data will satisfy the longings (if I can use that word) of the wing of their party desiring acceleration of changes in those identities.

Civil rights? Nonsense.

The DOE wants to divide every child into multiple bins so that the intersectionality mafia has all the data it needs to reassemble them from their demographics. They want data about the economic, racial, heritage, disability and sexual identity characteristics of each child from which they can design more programs to build them into social justice warriors.

The Office of “Civil Rights” will never pause to inquire what price is paid by school administrators, counselors and teachers when it mandates that they inquire about the sexual identities of six year old English Learner students.  Or what their parents may think about the question itself.

Because the Office of Civil Rights simply does not care.

The Virginia Department of Education, put in an untenable position, may wish to get ahead of this with guidelines about how schools and school divisions might collect this information. Good luck.

I recommend that VDOE publish guidelines that each school division:

  • require each school principal alone to make a good faith estimate of the gender preference of each child; and
  • prohibit him from asking any teacher or other school staff; and
  • prohibit the recording of that estimate anywhere other than aggregated in federal reporting; and
  • direct him to use judgement as to whether the estimate can be traced to an individual child because of a small group size and refrain from providing any information other than male or female in that instance; and
  • prohibit asking any child or her parents directly.

Virginia’s Attorney General may wish to sue to stop enforcement of the collection of this impossibly personal and unscientific (feelings not facts) information in Virginia as a threat to both the public schools and public order.

Updated June 3 at 12:25 PM