Today, the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence released the following statement re: the publication by the U.S. Department of Education of a draft regulation regarding Title IX:
The regulation proposed by the U.S. Department of Education betrays the trust of all students, P-12 and in higher education. It is the responsibility of the Department to ensure that all students can learn safely in an environment that is free of harassment and discrimination. Instead of upholding this crucial obligation, the Department of Education has proposed a regulation that that puts all students at risk.
The proposed regulation would weaken Title IX’s protections by narrowing the definition of sexual harassment to allow schools to ignore many instances of campus violence. It would also protect schools by limiting when they must respond, and making it more difficult for students to come forward when they experience sexual harassment or assault. The bottom line is that these changes will make schools less safe for students, and thereby fail to uphold the Department of Education’s responsibilities under Title IX.
The proposed regulation would also permit religiously-affiliated schools to decline to submit a request or notice for a Title IX exemption to the Department of Education on their institutional policies, and thus, hide from students and parents whether it intends to enforce Title IX’s non-discrimination mandate.
We urge the Department of Education to withdraw this problematic regulation, and to commit to a transparent process that engages survivors, makes campuses safer, and roots out and eliminates gender bias, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.