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New Title IX Rule Jeopardizes Students

By Charlotte Robinson, May 07, 2020
The U.S. Department of Education has finalized a rule that will put students at greater risk of sexual harassment & assault. Osub Ahmed, Senior Policy Analyst for Women’s Health & Rights with the Center for American Progress’ Women’s Initiative stated, “The rule does a grave injustice to survivors of sexual harassment & assault by forcing them to satisfy unreasonably stringent standards when trying to pursue their cases & making it easier for schools to ignore complaints altogether. By raising reporting thresholds & changing grievance procedures, schools will likely investigate fewer incidents of sexual harassment—an impact that the Education Department even acknowledges in its rules—which will have a chilling effect on reporting of sexual harassment & roll back the clock on efforts to ensure gender equity in schools. We know that 1 in 5 women report experiencing some form of sexual assault during their time in college & survivors have relied on the protections afforded by Title IX to safely report these incidents for decades. These rules deliberately undermine these vital protections & threaten the rights and safety of survivors.” Frank J. Bewkes, Policy Analyst for the LGBTQ Research & Communications Project at the Center concluded, “This is an unacceptable contraction of survivors’ rights that is especially concerning for the LGBTQ community. CAP research has found that allegations of harassment appeared more frequently in Title IX complaints based on LGBTQ identity than in the general population, with nearly 76 percent of such complaints alleging sexual or gender harassment. From her move to eliminate guidance on protecting transgender students to today’s rule, Secretary Devos has consistently demonstrated a clear refusal to uphold the rights of LGBTQ students. This rule is an attempt by Secretary DeVos & her Department of Education to further shirk their duty to enforce the protections Title IX offers for all students.”
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