One in four girls experiences sexual assault or abuse before she turns 18 and nearly 70 percent of them experience sexual harassment in high school. This is not news, and it’s not just a problem on US college campuses.
But what many don’t know is that protections against sexual assault in these settings may soon be weakened severely.
The United States Department of Education recently released its new proposed regulations with regard to Title IX, which bans sex discrimination in schools, education programs and school-related activities that receive federal funding.
The new rules would reduce liability for universities, high schools and middle schools; tighten the definition of sexual harassment; and allow schools to use a higher standard in evaluating claims of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
The outcome would be severely weaken protections against sexual assault in these educational settings.
You can read the full text here of these harmful new rules.
But before they can go into effect, there is a mandatory 60 day public comment period. To make these proposed rules legally binding, the Department is obliged to go through a process referred to as "notice-and-comment." This provides an opportunity for members of the public to give their opinions on the Department's proposed rules.
The number of comments they receive on the issue matters, and thankfully there has been a small extension on the public comment period. We now have until Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 to submit a comment and stop these disastrous new regulations that hurt students and make it harder for survivors to come forward.
Find out more with from Equality Now's partners End Rape on Campus and Know Your IX at www.handsoffix.org.
And let the US Secretary of Education Betsy Devos know that putting students more at risk is not OK.
Please submit a personalized comment about why these new regulations hurt young people, particularly girls.
Every comment counts, so please encourage everyone you know who cares about the health and wellbeing of the next generation to comment while there’s still time!