You don't have to follow the latest news in higher education to have heard about the Education Department's ardent efforts to reform Title IX. The fight, led by Secretary Betsy DeVos, has been a controversial one. DeVos had made her intentions of rolling back Obama-era guidelines very clear since taking office. Since then, she's slowly but surely stripped protections for transgender students, and has taken steps to prep students, administrators and other parties in higher education for her updated version of Title IX guidance.
DeVos shook the nation when she released her proposal a few months ago. It expectedly invoked massive backlash from assault survivors and civil liberties groups. Due process advocates, however, rejoiced about the new regulations after years of complaining about an unfair system.
As with most drastic changes in higher education, the Education Department offered a public comment section on the federal website for students, staff, and administrators to voice their concerns for 60 days. As the period comes to a close, the Federal Register noted that nearly 103,000 letters and messages were logged online - divulging just how passionate people are on either side of the debate.
It's clear that most of the comments oppose the Education Department's reworking of the federal guidelines. Here is what students across the country expressed:
“I was a victim of campus sexual harassment," someone commented. "It is clear the proposed rules would not protect students from sexual harassment.”
The brunt of the comments was aimed at DeVos.
“F--k you, Betsy,” someone said. “You are a shame to all women and anyone who has worked hard to improve our education systems.”
But some comments were supportive.
Someone said, “From the bottom of my heart - Thank you for making Title IX changes which will be fairer to accused students and their schools.”
But on the last day to submit public comments, the government site and related websites appeared to be shut down. Error messages were given, with some incorrectly stating that the comment period had come to a close a day earlier.
The Education Department dragged their feet in response to the outrage. So, in an effort to rectify the erroneous messages and confusion, it requested that the comment period be extended. Schools have made it a priority to inform students about the importance of stating their opinion on policies that will impact them. So far, the feedback has been tremendous.
Nationwide Title IX Advisor
The only way to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld is to retain a student defense attorney. For respondents, especially, the assistance of an attorney advisor is invaluable in the Title IX process. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill, experience, and expertise to help you preserve your entitled rights under Title IX and your school's policy. For a case evaluation or more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.