This past summer, Secretary Miguel Cardona of the U.S. Department of Education released proposed changes to Title IX regulations that would “restore crucial protections for students who are victims of sexual harassment, assault, and sex-based discrimination.” The changes sought by the Biden administration would reverse changes made during the Trump administration and expand protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. These changes would include:
- Strengthening protections for LGBTQI+ individuals
- Increasing protections for pregnant and lactating students and employees
- Permitting students’ parents, guardians, and legal representatives to participate in Title IX grievance process
- Broadening the definition of sexual harassment
- Expanding the circumstances for mandatory reporting
- Eliminating the requirement for live hearings and cross-examination
- Allowing a single individual to act as both investigator and judge
Concerns About the Proposed Changes
In July, we wrote about our concerns about how the new proposed changes will impact due process of the accused. Since that time, nearly 240,000 public comments were submitted to the Federal Registrar by the comment deadline of September 12, 2022, according to Politico.
The Biden administration’s proposed changes to Title IX has also divided the states. 17 states’ attorneys general have sent the Department of Education a letter of concern regarding the proposed changes. These states oppose the DOE’s expansion of Title IX protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation as well as the proposed broadening to the definition of sexual harassment. However, the attorneys general from 20 other states have written in support of the new changes, stating that they correct the “missteps in the Department’s 2020 rulemaking.”
The DOE must review all comments as part of the process of finalizing the new regulations. It is likely that the final rules will be published sometime during 2023. Until that time, the rules established by Secretary Betsy DeVos in 2020 during the Trump administration will remain in place.
Experienced Legal Counsel for Title IX Cases
At Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC, we are committed to remaining at the forefront of Title IX defense law. We know how complex, sensitive, and potentially life-changing a Title IX accusation can be. It is crucial to have experienced legal counsel during any disciplinary conduct hearing, especially if and when there is a consideration of criminal charges.
If you are facing a Title IX investigation, contact Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC online or call us at (737) 200-2332 to schedule a consultation.