In another targeted attack against transgender people, the Colorado GOP, represented by Director of Special Initiatives Darcy Schoening, sent an email calling on the state’s school boards to resist enacting recent updates to Title IX that protect transgender students from discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

“The Colorado GOP urges Colorado School Boards NOT (emphasis hers) to enact Joe Biden’s progressive Title IX rewrite and urges parents to enjoin into a federal injunction TODAY to prevent the spread of boys in girls’ sports in Colorado,” wrote Schoening. 

“This mandate that harms girls in the name of ‘saving trans kids’ is coming to its end, and we do NOT need to comply because there is no such thing as a ‘trans kid’. There are kids, and there are the adults who use them for sexual and political gratification.”

School districts have until August 1 to implement the updated rules, which include allowing transgender students to use the bathroom that identifies with their gender and mandates that educators call them by their preferred pronouns. The new protections do not address transgender participation in youth sports.

The problem for Schoening and the MAGA faction of the Colorado GOP is that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act has made it unlawful to discriminate against transgender people since 2012, and schools must allow transgender students access to the bathroom of their choice or face breaking state law.

When asked if Schoening was calling for school districts to do just that, she responded, “Yes. I am.”

“These laws are being stricken down across the country, and federal funding for schools can no longer be tied to policies that groom kids. I dare Governor Polis to sue a school district for protecting girls’ privacy and their right to not be naked and exposed to naked penises from mentally ill boys in their spaces. We will take Polis and the legislature all the way to SCOTUS to end the fetishization of children,” she wrote. 


No judge has stricken down any state laws that add protections based on gender identity, so it’s unclear if she was referring to state law or just Title IX.

Regardless, it’s clear the GOP already knows fighting Title IX updates in the state won’t change anything. Schoening’s email cites the Douglas County School District as an example to follow for choosing to delay passing the new rules at its board meeting in July, but the district’s current non-discrimination policy already includes gender identity and gender expression as part of a protected class.

Most districts across the state updated their policies more than a decade ago.

“Yes, I understand their policies on non-discrimination, as required by the state,” Schoening said. “Preventing males from getting naked next to young girls or stealing their places and awards in sports is not discrimination. 

“Young boys with deviant fetishes have no inherent right to sexually assault females by way of flashing their genitals in public school locker rooms. That’s not discrimination; it’s protecting girls and common sense policies.”

Examples of harm unfounded

In response to whether she could provide examples of where girls in Colorado have been harmed by the state’s stance on bathroom access and a 2019 ruling by the Colorado High Schools Association allowing transgender athletes to play on the team according to their gender identity, Schoening provided little evidence.

“There are dozens of examples of girls across the state being forced to share a locker room with boys,” said Schoening.

She cited a case in Jefferson County where an 11-year-old female student was assigned to a room with a transgender male during an organized trip to Washington, D.C. No harm came to the girl. 

According to the school district, the student’s gender identity wasn’t known when room assignments were made, and once it became known, the student was moved to another room.” 

Schoening also referenced a 2022 incident in Monument at Palmer Ridge High School where “we saw a young girl at Palmer Ridge, terrified that a mentally ill boy with terrible parents was using her locker room after dance class. We filed complaints and fought this deviant flasher, but eventually, the girl left her high school.” 

Schoening didn’t state if the incident involved a transgender student nor provided any evidence of the complaint.

Scare tactics to activate a voting base

Jax Gonzalez, political director for One Colorado, a nonpartisan advocacy organization for LGBTQ Coloradans and their families, said that “right now anti-trans issues and anti-LGBTQ issues and anti-critical race theory are all being used to activate a base of voters based on scare tactics.” 

“So, it doesn’t actually matter whether a school board does or doesn’t adopt the new Title IX regulations. That’s not actually a choice they have anyway, regardless of local control. They can’t not adopt Colorado law,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez explains that Schoening’s rhetoric is part of a nationwide trend of making people believe their rights are being infringed upon.

“This narrative is one they switched to nationally to try and win back voters,” said Gonzalez. “We saw this regarding racism and how racism affects individuals living in this country in 2020, and the GOP saw this was no longer a winning platform, and they shifted quickly to anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ issue as kind of a dog whistle.”

Gonzalez believes the purposeful misleading of voters is “relatively dangerous” and that it’s pedantic to ask the community to do something without asking any questions. Plus, they said not all GOP members feel the same as Schoening, and these attacks cause lawmakers to spend more time addressing culture wars and less time accomplishing their goals.

Moms 4 Liberty spreads misinformation

A recent ruling by a Federal judge in Kansas also blocked the Title IX rule from taking effect in any schools attended by the children of Moms for Liberty members. Moms for Liberty, a far-right organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group, joined a lawsuit challenging the rule along with Alaska, Kansas, Utah, Wyoming and a conservative organization called Young America’s Foundation.

Moms for Liberty members quickly took to social media, claiming schools are now legally forbidden from implementing the Title IX changes. 

However, Judge John Broomes, who issued the ruling, noted that the order doesn’t prevent schools where Moms for Liberty members’ children attend from adopting the Title IX update. Instead, the U.S. Department of Education can’t withhold federal money from schools that don’t comply.

According to a social media screenshot obtained by the Colorado Times Recorder, Kristy Davis, president of the Moms for Liberty El Paso County chapter, sent a letter last April urging board of education members to hold off making changes to their Title IX regulations because they knew a lawsuit was coming.

Davis doesn’t say which board of education members she sent her letter to, but another screenshot shows which schools the chapter plans to target.