Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently issued a statement that her department will be reviewing and revising Title IX, a federal law that protects students for discrimination when it comes to their sex, which includes sexual harassment and how schools and programs should go about dealing with such a situation.
Title IX was an Obama-era piece of legislation that set up guidelines for a situation like sexual assault. However, DeVos believes that revisions are needed, which some believe will ultimately benefit the accused.
When asked by CBS News’ Jan Crawford if the plan was to repeal Obama’s initial guidelines, DeVos answered frankly, “Well, that’s the intention, and we’ve begun the process to do so. As I’ve said earlier, in all of this discussion, it really is a process not an event.”
The news that the Department of Education is looking to rescind Title IX has come as a shock to many students across the nation. However, those who were critics of the law from the get-go think this is a step in the right direction.
Many critics believed there should be a more strict obligation for due process for those individuals accused of sexual assault, while supporters of Title IX do not understand the fight for enhanced protection of the accused.
DeVos explained on Thursday, “The truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students. Survivors, victims of a lack of due process and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved.”
DeVos and her department have yet to give any insight on what changes will be made to the legislation or how they intend to move forward. It is clear however, that no matter how DeVos decides to alter or rescind this Bill, people will not sit silently.
Twitter was aflame with “#StopBetsy” after DeVos’s announcement. These online critics even included former VP Joe Biden, who supported efforts against sexual assault during his time in office.
He summed it up with a statement on Facebook stating, “The truth is, although people don’t want to talk about the brutal reality of sexual assault, especially when it occurs in our most cherished institutions, it is our reality, and it must be faced head-on. And any change that weakens Title IX protections will be devastating.”