Not Just Athletics
recipients of federal education funding to evaluate their current policies and practices, adopt and publish a policy against sex discrimination, and implement grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee discrimination complaints. All schools must publicly appoint at least one employee to coordinate Title IX compliance.
Title IX affects all areas of education, including:
- recruitment, admissions and housing;
- career and technical education;
- pregnant, parenting, and/or married students;
- science, technology, engineering, and math education;
- sexual harassment and assault;
- comparable facilities and access to course offerings;
- financial assistance;
- student health services and insurance benefits;
- harassment based on gender identity; and
Attacks on Title IX -Sexual Harassment and Assault
Colleges and universities are required to keep students safe and promote equal access to education under Title IX. Sexual harassment and assault creates an inequitable learning environment and is violation of civil rights, and, as such, a violation of Title IX.
The Obama administration issued guidelines to colleges and universities in 2011 making their obligations clear preventing and handling campus-based sexual harassment and violence. While case law had previously established sexual violence as an issue of gender-based discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the 2011 guidelines and follow-up guidance in 2014 pushed colleges to do more to meet those obligations. The Obama administration acted after women and survivors complained for years that colleges ignored or mishandled allegations of sexual assault, and that many colleges protected athletes and others who committed assaults.
The Obama-era guidelines responded to survivors’ needs in making reporting easier to gain access to institutional support. That more survivors than ever are reporting their sexual assaults to their universities shouldn’t lead to the conclusion that more college students are experiencing sexual assaults or that more students are lying – just that they feel more comfortable coming forward.
Recently, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the department’s plan to replace the Obama-era guidelines on how universities handle sexual misconduct complaints.
AAUW has worked diligently to protect and enhance the interests of women and girls and will continue to strongly support the vigorous enforcement of Title IX and all other civil rights laws pertaining to education.
Below you’ll find AAUW’s response to Secretary DeVos’ announcement regarding the future of Title IX enforcement.
If you want to help, please be sure to sign AAUW’s petition to the Department of Education if you have not already done so.
AAUW Responds to Department of Education Title IX Announcement
WASHINGTON — American Association of University Women Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Churches issued the following statement responding to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ announcement concerning the future of Title IX enforcement.
“Secretary Betsy DeVos’ decision to open up Title IX for changes represents a blatant intent to roll back protections for students. It is an action that is at direct odds with upholding the civil rights of all Americans.
Make no mistake: Title IX remains the law of the land and this announcement does not alter in any way schools’ responsibilities. DeVos’ speech noted many situations in which schools have failed to adhere to the law. The response to this challenge is to enforce Title IX not to undermine it. The Department is currently collecting comments on all of its regulations, and thousands of people have vocalized their support for Title IX, its regulations, and current guidance. Secretary DeVos can anticipate a continued call from survivors, students, and advocates for full enforcement of Title IX.
Now is also the time for schools to step up and demonstrate that they will do the right thing for their students even in the midst of potential rollbacks from the Department of Education. Considering that 89 percent of college campuses disclosed zero reported rapes last year — despite the fact that we know incidents are far more frequent — we should move forward and build on past progress not walk back current protections.
The American Association of University Women stands with survivors and remains committed to protecting and defending Title IX, and to pursuing its vigorous enforcement. We must ensure our nation’s dedication to full and equal educational opportunities for all students. After all, students’ access to an education is on the line. Schools, and the Department of Education, owe it to them to uphold their civil rights, a promise today’s announcement fails to reaffirm.”
If you are interested in more information, or want to know what you can do, please go online to the National AAUW site and learn about the actions being taken by AAUW to protect and defend Title IX.