If you were to ask someone “What’s title IX?” I’m willing to bet that the most common answer would be something like, ugh, it let’s women play sports? The most bitter answer might be, “it took away funding for our lacrosse team”.
Title IX did have a huge impact for women and sports. It’s part of the reason I got to play little league and thus have this picture in perpetuity.
However, what you might not know, is that the original title IX makes no mention of sports. What it does say is: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
Which means, schools that receive federal funding can’t discriminate based on sex. It covers ten key areas: athletics, access to higher education, career education, education for pregnant and parenting students, employment, learning environment, math and science, standardized testing, technology, And… sexual harassment.
Yes, under title IX, Sexual harassment and sexual violence are forms of gender discrimination.
Well, it is for now. Thanks to Betsy, “guns in schools kill grizzlies” Devos, that might not be the case for much longer!
You may remember, last year, after she met with some Men’s Rights Groups, since you know, it’s a scary time to be a man, DeVos rescinded documents that outlined how schools should address sexual misconduct. Then on November 29th, 2018, the Department of Education published its proposed regulation that would basically let schools almost entirely off the hook for handling allegations of sexual assault.
The standard of proof would change from the “preponderance of the evidence” – which means “more likely than not” and be changed to “clear and convincing evidence” – which is a standard of proof that favors the perpetrator.
It’s basically saying, cool cool cool, you can keep your #metoo movement and we are gonna keep sweeping this shit under the rug. But remember: restricting the number of investigations doesn’t change the number of students that are harassed or raped.
The good news is, before these changes go into effect, they are subject to an open comment period for 60 days, which has already started but is open until January 28th.
Open comment means anyone has a chance to submit comments which all have to be read and considered – and means that the courts can strike down regulations that are insufficiently responsive to that public input.
So what you can do up until January 28th:
- Spread the word – tweet, share and repost this video or any of the resources below so people know this is happening.
- Submit a comment- check out the resources I have provided below for how to write an effective comment.
Information about the changes:
Full 145 Page version of the New Rules: https://bit.ly/2QqwRQO
Know Your IX “9 Things to Know about Betsy DeVos’ Proposed Title IX Rule”: https://bit.ly/2Ro1SlI
National Women’s law Center: DeVos’ Proposed Changes to Title IX, Explained: https://bit.ly/2E6PqDd
Notice and Comment Toolkits:
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