Posted on April 12, 2021
By: Lily Crespo Esq.
Quick takeaway: The government is planning multiple opportunities for the public to weigh in on how schools should respond when a student reports sexual misconduct. The letter also clarifies that Title IX under the Biden administration will specifically protect LGBTQ+ students from discrimination.
What happened: The U.S. Department of Education announced last Tuesday it plans to launch a comprehensive review of Title IX regulations, including amendments issued under the Trump administration, carrying out a March 8 executive order from President Joe Biden.
The Education Department announced plans to hold a public hearing on how schools ought to handle sexual misconduct cases as the first step in a planned overhaul of Title IX regulations. In a letter released by the Education Department, the hearing is described as a chance for students, parents, school officials and advocates to weigh in before the Biden administration offers its proposal for how K-12 schools and colleges receiving public funding must respond to allegations of sexual assault and harassment. The department has not yet announced a timeline for the hearing but plans to share more details in the coming weeks. The hearing will occur over multiple days and include a virtual component, a department official said.
After the hearing, the department intends to begin a formal process known as “proposed rule-making” to rewrite the Title IX rules, which would include another round of public comments.
The department will also issue question-and-answer-style guidance in the coming weeks to advise schools how to adhere to the current Title IX rule.
What this means for schools: While this announcement signals the shift in administration, the news does not signal any practical immediate change for schools handling Title IX issues. This is just the first step in the review stage.
As you consider these and other issues, we recommend you speak with your school lawyer or contact Bea, Kevin, Megan, Beth, and Lily by email or at 406-542-1300 to discuss these issues.