Today, Republican Leader of the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), issued the following statement supporting the Department of Education’s final rule to address the responsibilities of college campuses and K-12 schools under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972:
“Our highest priority is to ensure that all students can pursue education free from discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence. But as the Speaker noted last week, those accused of sexual assault are also owed due process, and we owe it to all students to ensure that campus judicial procedures operate consistently with our nation’s fundamental beliefs in fairness. The regulation issued today accomplishes both goals. It ensures protections for sexual assault survivors and requires thorough investigations of sexual assault incidents. It also aligns Title IX requirements with court precedents and provides fundamental protections for due process. I commend Secretary DeVos for her thoughtful approach to this important issue, listening to feedback from stakeholders, and producing a final rule that will help institutions protect the safety and rights of all students.”
NOTE: In 2011, the Obama administration issued an informal letter defining sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination actionable under Title IX. A follow-up letter in April 2014 provided additional guidance on schools’ responsibilities under Title IX to address sexual violence as a form of sexual harassment. These two letters generated significant controversy and confusion. Many have criticized the letters for undermining due process rights for involved parties, and multiple court cases have struck down campus procedures that resulted from the guidance.