WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Representatives Jackie Speier (CA-14), Brenda Lawrence (MI -14), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Veronica Escobar (TX-16) Gwen Moore (WI-04), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02) and Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) led 108 of their colleagues in sending a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona imploring him to prioritize the immediate reversal of former Secretary Devos’s final rule prescribing how K-12 schools and postsecondary institutions must respond to sexual harassment and assault under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and promptly issue interim guidance addressing Title IX protections against sexual harassment in schools.
“These regulations gut protections for survivors of sexual violence and overburden already-strained schools struggling amid a global pandemic. Importantly, these changes are contrary to the letter and spirit of Title IX – a civil rights law intended to protect students’ right to an education free from harassment and discrimination,” the Members wrote.
“Survivors of sexual violence deserve justice, dignity, safety and healing. Yet, Secretary DeVos’ rule turns back the clock and erodes hard-fought protections and rights for victims with a ‘boys will be boys’ approach to sexual assault on college campuses,” the Members wrote.
Given that the vast majority of the 124,000 comments submitted during the rulemaking period were in opposition to the proposed rule, and that multiple lawsuits have been filed challenging the rule, the letter also urges Secretary Cardona to work with the Department of Justice to seek a voluntary stay of the rule and remand for reconsideration in the litigation challenging the rule. The letter also calls on the Department of Education to notice an immediate review and revision of the final rule, and issue interim guidance addressing Title IX protections against sexual harassment in schools.
The full text of the letter can be found here.
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