GLSEN Statement On Proposed Title IX Rule Changes by DeVos

GLSEN Statement on DeVos Title IX Rules

GLSEN Denounces new Department of Education Proposed Title IX Rules for Schools Handling Sexual Harassment and Assault

New rules could have a chilling effect on LGBTQ students grades K-12 who already are fearful to report harassment and abuse in schools

NEW YORK, NY (November 16, 2018) – GLSEN, the leading education organization working to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ students, today spoke out against Education Secretary DeVos' proposed new Title IX rules for schools handling allegations of sexual harassment aimed at scrapping Obama-era guidance that sought to protect students raising accusations of sexual harassment and assault, in favor of bolstering the rights of accused students. This proposal begins a 60-day public comment period, and the administration can still make changes before the regulation is finalized.

“The U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations could create cruel and unnecessary obstacles for survivors of sexual harassment, including LGBTQ students who already experience higher rates of sexual harassment in schools than their peers,” said Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN. “All students deserve to have school administrators take their experiences seriously and support them throughout a process that can often be deeply traumatic.”

One concern for students in grades K-12 is a narrowing of the definition of sexual harassment in the new rules that would allow schools to ignore all but the worst cases of sexual harassment, and only harassment to the level where the student is denied equal access to education, such as dropping out. According to GLSEN's 2017 National School Climate Survey, the most common reasons that LGBTQ students did not report incidents of victimization to school staff were doubts that effective intervention would occur, and fears that reporting would make the situation worse. Additionally, the Center for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey data reveals that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and questioning students experience higher rates of sexual assault. This new rule could have a chilling effect on LGBTQ students, many who already are fearful to report harassment and abuse in schools.

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GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Over nearly three decades of work, GLSEN has measurably improved conditions for LGBTQ students across the United States and launched an international movement to address LGBTQ issues in education and promote respect for all in schools. Find more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, school-based programs, research, and professional development for educators