Sarah Saint Featured on Title IX and Civil Rights Podcast
Brooks Pierce attorney Sarah Saint was recently interviewed by the Title IX and Civil Rights Podcast about the potential implications of Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prohibits classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in other grades. The law specifically has a provision that allows parents to sue if they feel the law has been violated.
“This, I believe, will lead to a bunch of lawsuits. I think this is going to be litigated in the courts by parents and by school districts trying to figure out the contours of the law,” Saint said.
The podcast also discussed the rights of LGBTQ+ students in schools and what steps school leaders need to take to protect those rights. Saint and the podcast hosts also talked about the rise in litigation where teachers are suing school districts over being asked to use the pronoun and honorifics of students based on the student’s gender rather than sex assigned at birth, because the teachers feel it violates their First Amendment rights.
“It really highlights the rock and the hard place that a lot of school districts are in right now. Do they enforce what they think Title IX says, we have to call students by their preferred names, use their pronouns? That’s what the Department of Education has said unequivocally. So does the school district do that. Or does the school district try to follow this First Amendment argument the teachers are making. In any event, they are probably going to be sued unless they can find a middle road. And that is tricky to do,” Saint said.
Saint advises and litigates on behalf of public and private educational institutions and school boards on an array of education law issues, including special education and disability issues, civil rights laws and tort claims. She also represents businesses in a variety of industries to resolve disputes, litigating in state and federal court when necessary. Sarah has a particular focus on diversity and civil rights issues, including issues related to race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and religion.
The interview was divided into two episodes of the weekly podcast, which can be found here and here.