Department of Education Rescinds Crucial Title IX GuidanceSeptember 22, 2017
WASHINGTON — American Association of University Women (AAUW) Chief Executive Officer Kim Churches issued the following statement responding to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ announcement concerning interim Title IX policy at the Department of Education.
“Today’s announcement confirms our suspicions: the U.S. Department of Education’s intent is to roll back critical civil rights protections for students.
AAUW is disappointed that the Department of Education has withdrawn the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter on Sexual Violence as well as the 2014 Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence. Both were critical guidance tools schools requested to clarify their responsibilities under Title IX when responding to sexual violence. In their place, a new, less robust Questions and Answers guidance document is to be used. This is a blatant rollback from the strong and much-needed guidance that was in place. This ever-changing landscape could potentially sow confusion for schools, administrators and staff, students, parents, and communities.
The Department of Education should have heeded the comments submitted this week–including more than 10,000 from AAUW advocates–urging them to protect Title IX. The department’s willingness to ignore the overwhelming grassroots to national support for Title IX, its regulations, and prior guidance is proof that the agenda was not to listen and take into account input from the community but rather to move forward with a predetermined plan of action.
AAUW looks forward to weighing in as the Department of Education engages in its stated rule-making process. In the meantime we call on schools to continue to uphold students’ civil rights. AAUW stands with survivors and will vigorously defend Title IX and the protections it affords all students.”
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