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.
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.
This new #TitleIX rule will punish and traumatize survivors around the country. No one should have to be cross-examined by their rapist. DeVos needs to resign. https://t.co/F3gZKVjQ7I— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) May 6, 2020
BREAKING: The Department of Education issued a Title IX rule reducing schools’ obligations to investigate sexual harassment & assault claims.The department SHOULD be combating sexual harassment in schools—instead, it’s holding schools less accountable for addressing the issue.— ACLU (@ACLU) May 6, 2020
Good morning. A reminder that under @BetsyDeVosED’s #TitleIX rule, Michigan State would have had no responsibility to stop serial sexual predator Larry Nassar because his victims reported to athletic trainers & coaches or the “wrong person.” Stay outraged. https://t.co/UhTd029lkR— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) May 9, 2020
I look forward to Alyssa Milano endorsing Betsy DeVos's Title IX reforms, which will restore due process for campus men accused of sexual misconduct. Her support on this issue will mean so much! https://t.co/eF1giEomFm pic.twitter.com/4tutu4rqZP— Robby Soave (@robbysoave) April 7, 2020