Our Take on Title IX Changes

Our Take on Title IX Changes

Title IX was established in 1972 to prevent gender discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding.

Supreme Court decisions and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education have given Title IX  broad scope covering sexual harassment and sexual violence.  Under Title IX, schools are legally required to respond and remedy hostile educational environments. When a school fails to do so, it is a violation that risks federal funding.

The Administration is proposing new rules to improve the process and protect the rights of those accused of sexual violence.  However, reviews by national experts show that the proposed rules will  limit protections for survivors and reduce the responsibility of school administrators. 

Proposed changes include: 

-   Removing protections for victims who are assaulted off campus, including at fraternity houses and off-campus housing

-   Requiring that sexual harassment escalate to extreme and continuous levels before a Title IX complaint can be filed

-   Removing the 60-day time limit on investigations, which may leave the victim in limbo for an extended period of time

-   Allowing religiously affiliated schools to opt for Title IX exemption without notifying the Department of Education, thus hiding from students and parents whether it intends to enforce the Title IX nondiscrimination mandate

Given the number of victims who have spoken out, the proposal ignores the epidemic of sexual assault and violence, including among college students, who face particular vulnerabilities and obstacles.

The key to ending sexual violence is bringing it out of the shadows. We often say we cannot change what we cannot talk about. That fundamental concept has driven our work over the last four decades. We must not revert to times when sexual violence thrived in secrecy.

By rolling back protections for victims and reducing administrative responsibility for protecting students, the proposed rule change undermines the progress we have made in the last four decades on that front.

A brief, 60-day comment period ends January 28, 2019. We will join other victim advocates in submitting a comment to the Department of Education, urging the Department to withdraw this regulation. We’ll be asking our supporters to consider commenting as well. To hear more about our plans, and include yourself in our policy advocacy work, be sure to sign up for our policy alerts by clicking here.

Links to more resources on Title IX:

Know Your IX:  

https://www.knowyourix.org/college-resources/title-ix/

Legal Voice:

www.legalvoice.org/single-post/2018/11/16/Legal-Voice-Statement-on-Proposed-Title-IX-Rules?fbclid=IwAR2DECf8x8Mhq7KDmpgalaSpGS876iEAZyn_A_EbYaGme_ioLbI03MOi0RM

National Alliance to End Sexual Violence:

www.endsexualviolence.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/TitleIXNPRMReleaseFinal.pdf

National Women’s Law Center:

https://nwlc.org/press-releases/nwlc-responds-to-the-department-of-educations-attempt-to-weaken-protections-against-sexual-assault/

https://nwlc-ciw49tixgw5lbab.stackpathdns.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Mythbusting-Title-IX-and-Sexual-Assault.pdf

https://nwlc.org/blog/betsy-devoss-interim-guidance-is-dangerous-but-you-still-have-rights-under-title-ix/

End Rape on Campus:

http://endrapeoncampus.org/new-blog/2018/11/16/secretary-devos-moves-to-silence-survivors-and-enable-schools-to-be-a-safe-place-to-commit-sexual-violence