Ask Betsy DeVos to keep students safe and enforce Title IX
This petition had 59,371 supporters
The same year I was raped by another student in high school, I overheard elders at my mosque share their experiences with racial profiling and their fear of an informant at our Friday prayers. The result? I became terrified of the only institution I knew I could report to about my assault—the police—and told no one at all. Instead, I dropped out of high school and spent my next two years taking coursework online. At the time, I did not know that outside of a criminal system that itself enacted violence, Title IX provided survivors with the civil right to access the resources they need—free counseling services, extensions on papers, or getting moved out of a class shared with a rapist—to stay in school.
As the former Executive Director of Know Your IX, a national survivor organization empowering students to end sexual and dating violence in schools, I now hear every day from young survivors about why they too didn’t report to the police, and why Title IX—and all of its protections—have provided a desperately needed alternative to help them stay in school. Title IX mandates that schools prevent sexual harassment and violence on campus and promptly and equitably address it where it occurs. Given that schools routinely shirk these obligations, the Department of Education’s work has been essential in holding schools accountable and helping ensure that students know about—and therefore, are able to advocate for—these rights.
The current Administration is planning to weaken the enforcement of Title IX, a move that would be devastating for students especially those who are LGBT and of color. Survivors and our allies across the country are coming together to ask Education Secretary DeVos to listen to survivors, keep students safe, and enforce protections Title IX has long provided.
Join Know Your IX and End Rape on Campus and ask DeVos to commit to the following :
- Maintain the Department of Education’s guidance documents clarifying schools’ legal responsibilities to prevent and address sexual harassment under Title IX
- Continue to recognize preponderance of evidence (i.e. "more likely than not") as the appropriate standard of proof in campus sexual harassment investigations;
- Maintain federal transparency in Title IX enforcement by continuing to publish lists of schools under investigation for Title IX violations and those who have claimed religious exemptions allowing them to discriminate against LGBT, pregnant, and parenting students
DeVos will have the power to enforce Title IX protections and ensure that every student is able to attend school without fear of violence.
It's up to us to make sure that she does.
Former Executive Director, Know Your IX
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