AAUW Responds to Department of Education Title IX Announcement

September 07, 2017
A young woman holds a banner in front of a crowd. The banner reads, Justice for Rape Survivors

Image by Tony Cairns, Flickr Creative Commons

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.”

For media inquiries, contact Amy Becker at beckera@aauw.org or 202.785.7756.

Kimberly Churches By:   |   September 07, 2017