The Biden administration announced in December that they will release the new proposed Title IX rules in April 2022, one month sooner than previously stated. Many advocates of sexual assault victims bemoan the new date because they wanted changes to be announced even earlier.
The April 2022 date is not binding.
Motivation Behind Title IX Changes
When he was running for office, then-candidate Joe Biden said he would dismantle the changes made to Title IX under the Trump administration. Now that he’s in office, many say the changes can’t come soon enough.
Opponents of the changes implemented under then-Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos believe that those rules favored those accused of sexual misconduct. Advocates of those same rules argued that they provide better due process and a more level playing field.
The current administration’s Education Department began in June the process of rewriting Title IX sexual misconduct rules with a period of public comment.
The federal Education Department has indicated that the proposed changes will include the definition of sexual harassment and how schools must respond to sexual harassment complaints. The rules changes will also likely include a range of protections for transgender students.
Until new rules are in place, the Trump administration rules will remain in effect.
Wheels of Change Move Slowly
When it comes to changes to Title IX, the process is incredibly slow. For example, DeVos issued the proposed Title IX changes in November 2018. Another 18 months passed reviewing the 125,000 comments received during the mandatory notice-and-comment period. The rules did not become effective until August 2020.
Based on the previous example, any change put forth in April would not be implemented until January 2024. While the expectation is that it will be sooner – especially since there has already been one comment period completed – the effective date will still land sometime during the 2022-2023 academic year.
Everyone is hopeful that any changes will result in better clarity and more equitable outcomes for all parties involved in Title IX disputes.
What Is Title IX?
Title IX is part of the Education Amendments of 1972 and prohibits sex discrimination in education. After this law passed, sweeping changes in the access females had to classes, sports, and other school activities occurred. But this federal civil rights law is comprehensive and covers more than some may realize. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which enforces the law, has assessed that sexual harassment, sexual violence, and bullying are forms of sexual harassment under Title IX.
Any educational institution that receives federal funding must abide by Title IX. They must operate their education program or activity in a nondiscriminatory manner free of discrimination based on sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Students, teachers, staff, contractors, and others who work and access the programs are afforded Title IX protections.
Title IX violations are reported to the school’s appointed Title IX coordinator and/or OCR.
Title IX Defense
If you have been accused of a Title IX violation, call our law firm immediately. Our attorneys focus on Title IX defense, which is very different from criminal and family law.
Title IX hearings are a unique administrative process, unlike the regulations that direct criminal investigations. Each school has the flexibility to determine many of its own processes, which are outlined in student and employee handbooks.
Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PPLC can help in the following ways:
- Understanding your school’s policies and processes
- Reviewing the charges and allegations against you
- Explain your rights
- Assist in the preparation of your defense, including coordinating a private investigation
- Explain any possible civil claims that can arise
We serve clients from coast to coast with offices in Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, and California. Contact us online or call (737) 200-2332 to schedule a consultation.