Title IX / College Discipline Practice - Warshaw Burstein LLP | U.S. Department of Education Launches New Title IX Resources for Students and Institutions as Historic New Rule Takes Effect
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  • U.S. Department of Education Launches New Title IX Resources for Students and Institutions as Historic New Rule Takes Effect
    On August 14, 2020, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos launched new resources to help students and schools understand the protections provided by the Department of Education’s (DOE) historic regulation on Title IX.
    The rule extends many new protections against sexual harassment, and strongly safeguards the rights of all students, including the right to due process. The DOE also launched a new web site that provides a one-stop resource for this key information, including how to file a complaint, an overview of the rule’s protections for survivors, and a detailed webinar on how schools can fully implement and uphold the new provisions in the law.
    Key provisions of the Department of Education's new Title IX regulation include:
    • Defines sexual harassment to include sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex
    • Provides a consistent, legally sound framework on which survivors, the accused and schools can rely
    • Requires schools to offer clear, accessible options for any person to report sexual harassment
    • Empowers survivors to make decisions about how a school responds to incidents of sexual harassment
    • Requires schools to offer survivors supportive measures, such as class or dorm reassignments or no-contact orders
    • Protects K-12 students by requiring elementary and secondary schools to respond promptly when any school employee has notice of sexual harassment
    • Holds colleges responsible for off-campus sexual harassment at houses owned or under the control of school-sanctioned fraternities and sororities
    • Restores fairness on college and university campuses by upholding a student’s right to written notice of allegations, the right to an advisor, and the right to submit, cross-examine, and challenge evidence at a live hearing
    • Shields survivors from having to come face-to-face with the accused during a hearing and from answering questions posed personally by the accused
    • Requires schools to select one of two standards of evidence, the preponderance of the evidence standard or the clear and convincing evidence standard, and to apply the selected standard evenly to proceedings for all students and employees, including faculty
    • Provides "rape shield" protections and ensures survivors are not required to divulge any medical, psychological, or similar privileged records
    • Requires schools to offer an equal right of appeal for both parties to a Title IX proceeding 
    • Gives schools flexibility to use technology to conduct Title IX investigations and hearings remotely
    • Protects students and faculty by prohibiting schools from using Title IX in a manner that deprives students and faculty of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment
    Kimberly Lau provided her thoughts on the new regulations in this piece and the Title IX and College Discipline practice co-authored a New York Law Journal article explaining the implications of the new regulations.