Kimberly C. Lau Statement on the Release of the Final Title IX Regulations from the Department of Education05/06/2020
On November 16, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education issued proposed regulations to supplement Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. These proposed regulations responded to a dire need for clarifying the gender discrimination statute that has evolved far from its beginnings. Title IX regulations never before specifically addressed sexual harassment, sexual assault, or due process.
Today, DOE issued the final regulations after well over a year of comments and heated debate.
Both complainants and respondents are unhappy with the status quo of how schools handle campus sexual misconduct. But the goal of finding an ideal solution for how schools should handle this polarizing issue is nearly impossible to achieve.
The final Title IX regulations may not be perfect but are intended to put safeguards in place to ensure accountability of the process and reliability in the result. Due process should not be viewed as bolstering one side over the other but, rather, as a meaningful way to hold schools and the parties accountable.
While many have called for the delay in issuing the regulations in light of COVID-19, the reality is that Title IX cases are going to arise with or without the presence of COVID-19. There is a new "normal" now and schools will need to adapt quickly. There is no better time to begin those changes than with the launch of the new Title IX regulations.