The Education Department’s new proposed Title IX rules have already been cleared by the White House and are scheduled to be implemented in the coming weeks. Three senators signed on to a letter—along with multiple civil rights’ and human rights’ organizations—calling for the delay of these rules until the COVID-19 crisis is under control. The new Title IX regulations will dramatically affect the way universities handle reports of sexual misconduct.
Betsy DeVos, the Education Secretary, proposed new rules early in 2018 that require universities to provide accused students more access to case information in the name of due process. Title IX underwent changes last in 2011 under the Obama administration; the changes required universities to take stricter action to “eliminate, prevent, and address” any form of sexual misconduct. Stricter guidelines include requiring institutions to allow victims to speak to law enforcement, inform students reporting an incident of their options, and conclude investigations in a timely manner.
The three senators, Patty Murray, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren signed a letter addressed to DeVos asking for the delay of new regulations. The senators along with other progressive groups wrote, “We urge you not to release the final Title IX rule at this time and instead to focus on helping schools navigate the urgent issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic that is top of the mind for all students and families.”
The new changes are said to ensure the due process for accused students, the argument that the effort is to make the litigation process more transparent falls short to concerns that hearings, access to total evidence, and cross examinations will make victims less likely to come forward.
Sources: Politico 4/1/20; DailyWire 4/1/20; The College Post 3/16/20