According to President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, it would be “premature” for her to uphold Title IX guidance on sexual assault that was established in 2011.
Title IX guidance establishes gender discrimination protections on campus to sexual assault and sexual violence survivors by requiring every school to have established procedures for dealing with cases of sexual harassment and sexual violence. It also forces a school to promptly investigate every complaint, no matter how minor it is, and independent of whether or not it was reported to the police.
Sen. Bob Casey asked DeVos about the guidance, to which she responded that she was aware of many “conflicting ideas and opinions around that guidance.”
When pressed further and asked about whether she would commit to Title IX, she suggested that she would not.
“It would be premature for me to do that today,” she told Casey.
Of course, none of this is surprising. In fact, DevVos has donated money to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a group that fights legislation designed to prevent sexual assault and even provides free legal counsel to students facing sexual assault allegations.
Organizations like Know Your IX and End Rape on Campus joined together recently to try and educate DeVos on campus rape and why Title IX is important.
“I hear every day from young survivors about why they too didn’t report to the police, and why Title IX — and all of its protections — have provided a desperately needed alternative to help them stay in school,” Mahroh Jahangiri, Executive Director of Know Your IX, said in a statement. “Title IX mandates that schools prevent sexual harassment and violence on campus and promptly and equitably address it where it occurs.”
“Given that schools routinely shirk these obligations, the Department of Education’s work has been essential in holding schools accountable and helping ensure that students know about — and therefore, are able to advocate for — these rights.”
See the full exchange below: