COLLINBINKLEY-AP Educational Writer
LGBTQ student rights are stipulated by federal law, and victims of sexual assault on campus are Rules proposed by the Biden administration On thursday.
suggestionAnnounced to commemorate the 50th anniversary Title IX Women’s Rights LawAims to replace a series of controversial rules issued during the Trump administration Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos..
President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, said discrimination and sexual violence continued, even with significant progress towards gender equality.
“Standing up for equal access and inclusion is more important than ever, even when celebrating all the progress we have made,” he said.
This proposal is almost certain to be challenged by conservatives and is expected to lead to new court battles. Transgender student rights At school, especially in sports. We are currently facing a public feedback period before the administration finalizes the change. In other words, the policy is most likely to come into effect next year.
This step addresses the demands of victims’ advocates who wanted to release a new rule to Biden by the anniversary of Title IX, which bans gender discrimination in schools and colleges. Proponents say DeVos rules It goes too far to protect students accused of sexual misconduct at the expense of their victims.
As a presidential candidate, Biden promised to end Devos’s rules soon, saying, “I’m ashamed of the survivors and silence them.”
In announcing the proposal, Biden’s Department of Education stated that Devos’s rules “weakened the protection of survivors of sexual assault and weakened the promise of non-discriminatory education.”
For the first time, the rules formally protect LGBTQ students under Title IX. Nothing in the 1972 law explicitly addresses this topic, but the new proposal makes it clear that the law applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
According to the ministry, it will be clear that “preventing someone from participating in a school program or activity that matches gender identity is harmful in violation of Title IX.” More specific rules dealing with transgender student rights in school sports will be announced later, the ministry said.
Biden marked the Anniversary of Title IX by recognizing the impact of the law on improving equity, but acknowledged that there was more work to be done.
“We look to the next 50 years and strive to keep this progress and achieve full equality, inclusion and dignity for women and girls, LGBTQI + Americans, all students, and all Americans. I promise to do it, “he said in a statement.
Many of the proposed changes will restore the Obama-era rules that DeVos’ policies have replaced.
The definition of sexual harassment has been extended to cover a wider range of illegal activities. Schools need to deal with any allegations that create a “hostile environment” for students, even if illegal activity occurs off-campus. Most university employees, including professors and coaches, should notify campus staff of potential gender discrimination.
In the victory of the victim’s advocates, this proposal eliminates the rule requiring the university to hold a live hearing to investigate the case of sexual misconduct. This is one of the most disruptive aspects of DeVos policy. The new rules allow live hearings, but the university can also appoint campus staff to ask individual questions to students.
Biden’s actions have garnered praise from victim rights groups, LGBTQ advocates, and Democratic lawmakers.
“These proposed regulations demonstrate a strong commitment to protect educational opportunities for all students, including LGBTQ students,” said Janson Wu, Executive Director of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders. LGBTQ youth support. “
Republicans in Congress immediately criticized the proposal. Virginia Foxx, North Carolina Foxx, and a top Republican of the House Education and Labor Relations Commission, said the rule “would destroy the rights and security of due process for young women and girls across the country and impair women’s access. Regulations are still going on. ” For exercise opportunities. “
In a letter to Cardona Thursday, 18 Republican-led lawyers opposed the protection of transgender students and said they would “destroy women’s sports.” A group led by Montana and Indiana has vowed to fight change “using all the tools available in our arsenal.”
“American women and girls are of better value, and we would be relieved if this administration did not promise to protect women’s rights under Title IX,” the lawyer’s president wrote. ..
Once the proposal is complete, the Federal Title IX rules will be rewritten for the first time in two years. DeVos’s rules were themselves intended to overturn the guidance of the Obama era. Obama’s policy was accepted by the defenders of the victims, but hundreds of proceedings from accused students who said their college could not give them a fair process to protect themselves. It led to.
With whiplash, many schools are struggling to adopt constantly changing rules. Some people are looking for a political midpoint to protect students without encouraging new rules each time the White House changes power.
S. Daniel Carter, Campus Security Consultant and President of Education Campus Safety Advisors, said: “It’s not a good way to get things done. It’s very difficult for everyone involved.”
DeVos’ rules have dramatically changed the way universities handle allegations of sexual assault and harassment, with an emphasis on ensuring the defendant’s right to constitutional due process.
Under her rules, the accused students were given broader rights to review and respond to evidence against them, and students had the right to cross-examine each other through representatives at live hearings. rice field.
The requirement for a live hearing was praised as the victory of the accused student, but it elicited fierce opposition from other supporters who said the victims were forced to relive their trauma. rice field.
DeVos has also reduced the university’s obligations in responding to complaints. Her policy narrowed the definition of harassment and reduced the types of cases the university had to deal with. As a result, the number of Title IX complaints from students has dropped sharply on some campuses.
For example, her rule does not require the university to investigate most off-campus complaints, but to deal with complaints unless the alleged misconduct is “serious, widespread, and objectively offensive.” there is no.
The overhaul was partly intended to ease the burden on the university to mediate complex cases, but some say that in the end more work was added.
Some university leaders say the DeVos rules are too normative and force the campus discipline system to turn into a miniature court. Many schools continue to deal with all sexual misconduct complaints, even if they do not meet the narrowed definition of harassment, but need to set up a separate disciplinary process to handle those cases. had.
Proponents of both sides say it can be confusing for students.
“It shouldn’t be. It should be more unified, which is why Title IX regulations came into force,” said Kimberly Lau, a New York lawyer representing students in the Title IX proceedings. I am.
Biden’s proposal is a major step in keeping his promise to overturn Devos’ rules. He started the process last year when he ordered the Ministry of Education to review the rules, but the agency is stuck with a slow-moving rule-making process.
For more information on the impact of Title IX, please read the full AP report. https://apnews.com/hub/title-ix
Video timeline: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdgNI6BZpw0
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LGBTQ students will receive new protection under the Biden plan | Lifestyle
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