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More than 100 U.S. representatives urged Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to prioritize changing the current federal regulations that govern how colleges and universities address campus sexual misconduct under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law prohibiting gender-based discrimination at federally funded institutions.
In a letter addressed to Cardona Tuesday, the day after he was confirmed as education secretary, 115 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives said that the regulations put in place last year by former secretary of education Betsy DeVos “gut protections for survivors of sexual violence and overburden already-strained schools struggling amid a global pandemic.” The letter, organized by Representative Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California, and several other congresspeople, encouraged Cardona to issue temporary federal guidance based on “key portions of earlier guidance addressing Title IX protections against sexual harassment in schools.”
“Survivors of sexual violence deserve justice, dignity, safety and healing,” the letter said. “Yet, Secretary DeVos’ rule turns back the clock and erodes hard-fought protections and rights for victims with a ‘boys will be boys’ approach to sexual assault on college campuses.”