On August 14, 2020, all schools and colleges will have to implement harmful rules designed to weaken Title IX, reversing important protections for student survivors of sexual harassment and assault. 

Locally, all K-12 and Yuba College students are affected. It will be harder for victims to come forward and get the help they need, because:

– Sexual harassment is redefined in an inappropriate way that is narrower and more stringent.

– Schools can subject victims to drawn-out investigations; coerce victims into participating in mediation with their assailant; and allow victims to be cross-examined in live proceedings. All these are not actions consistent with civil laws such as Title IX.

– Schools can ignore victim complaints if the harassment occurred at the wrong place — outside of a campus-controlled building or activity such as an away game — or was reported to anyone, such as a teacher, or coach instead of one of the two designated persons to be named by the schools.

Title IX, the landmark civil rights law, was enacted on June 23, 1972, prohibiting sex discrimination in any education program or activity that receives federal funds.

The new rules reverse policies that were put in place to make it more likely that survivors report sexual misconduct. They stack the deck against survivors (students already at risk), making it too onerous for many to come forward. 

In short, the rules are antithetical to the fundamental promise of Title IX; that all students deserve access to an education free from sex discrimination.

Please join AAUW Marysville-Yuba City in demanding the new rules be rescinded. Contact your Representative and Senator. Protect our children.

 

– Martha Bunce,

Marysville

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