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What Is The Deal With Title IX Proposed Rule Changes?

You may have heard there are changes on the horizon for Title IX, the federal law protecting students’ rights to educational opportunities and benefits free from sex discrimination. Title IX regulations outline responsibilities for any school (K-12 and higher education) receiving federal funding and penalizes schools that respond to sexual harassment in a way that amounts to subjecting a student to sex discrimination.

Because Title IX regulations play an important role in addressing sexual harassment, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence in schools, SCCADVASA has highlighted some of the key points in the proposed rules and how they could apply to campuses in particular. We’ll be breaking things down in a three-part series this week.

Key Changes Proposed:

  • Narrowing the definition of sexual harassment actionable under Title IX,

  • Limiting situations when schools are responsible for taking action (see blog post part 3),

  • Limiting circumstances when a school is considered to have knowledge of harassment and therefore responsible for further action,

  • Allowing live cross examination, but only by the party’s “advisor,”

  • Allowing schools to change the required standard of evidence (see blog post part 2),

  • Removing time limits on investigations.

If you have questions about other proposed changes or would like more information about any of the changes listed above, feel free to call SCCADVASA at 803-256-2900.

Do you have thoughts on how this will impact your work or the students you support?

These rules are currently in the public comment period and not yet final. Schools and victim advocates do not need to make any changes at this point, but may want to consider the implications of these rules for their institution, for people experiencing abuse, and for those accused of perpetrating abuse.

The comment period runs through January 28th. After that time, the Department of Education will have to respond to all substantive comments and explain why they did or did not make changes. The final rules are expected to be released sometime during or after spring of 2019.

You can leave a comment until January 28, 2019. You may comment as an individual or on behalf of an organization or institution.

To read the full text and/or provide comment, go to https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=ED-2018-OCR-0064-0001 and click the button that says “comment now.” (Or go to www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ED-2018-OCR-0064-0001.)

For information on the value of providing comments and advice on how to write an effective comment, see this resource from Know Your IX: https://www.knowyourix.org/notice-comment-2018/submit-a-comment/

Know  Your IX also created a data guide with statistics to support your comment: https://actionnetwork.org/user_files/user_files/000/028/106/original/Mini_Data_Guide_(N_C).pdf

 

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