Public Justice Condemns New DeVos Title IX Regulations
In reaction to the Department of Education’s Title IX guidance released this morning, Public Justice Kazan Budd Staff Attorney Alexandra Brodsky had this to say:
“At a time when our country yearns for meaningful action, Betsy DeVos and the Trump Administration have instead decided to re-interpret Title IX to permit and even promote sex discrimination, all at the expense of students the law was designed to help. The Title IX regulations released today by the Department of Education are rooted in outdated, sexist myths that turn back the clock and tie the hands of students who experience sexual harassment. Among its many radical and unjust provisions, the rule requires schools to single out sexual harassment and assault reports for unique skepticism and separate, onerous procedures, making it harder for survivors to come forward and access the support they need. Under these new rules, students who experience sexual harassment will face unjust obstacles to an equal education—obstacles that do not stand in the way of classmates who face comparable harms, like other forms of harassment and physical violence. The rules are a startling attempt to wipe away accountability for schools and reimagine a law that forbids sex discrimination to require such discrimination instead.
Today’s action by Secretary DeVos ushers in a new stage in advocates’ fight to protect survivors, however, and is not the end. The power of survivors’ voices, and those of their allies, are apparent in the small improvements included in the final version of the rules which, when compared to the agency’s original proposal, show at least minimal steps to address public alarm about the dangerous steps DeVos first advocated for. Our fight continues, and these rules, which we believe cannot withstand a fair review by the courts, will not be the final word. The ghost of Phyllis Schlafly may still roam the halls of the Department of Education, and bend Secretary DeVos’s ear, but such outdated and dangerous views cannot be allowed to dictate modern public policy.”