Department of Education Finalizes Title IX Changes

The U.S. Department of Education has released long-anticipated rules pertaining to sexual harassment and assault complaints in schools. The 2,033-page document was published last week and almost immediately earned a rebuke from victims rights’ advocates.

You can read the entire document here or opt for this 9-page summary.

The regulations are similar to a draft published in November 2018. They allow schools more leeway in developing standards for sexual harassment or assault and narrow the definition of sexual harassment, while adding dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking to its definition.

They contain two other notable changes that have been the subject of much controversy:

1. College and university employees will no longer be required to report allegations of harassment or assault to the title IX office.

2. The individual investigating a sexual harassment or assault allegation cannot be the ultimate arbiter of judgment. A finding cannot be made in the absence of a live hearing with the opportunity for cross examination.

Both the timing and the substance have been criticized. The National Women's Law Center has already vowed to challenge the regulations in court.

Here is a recap of some notable reactions on Twitter.