August 2021 Update
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces, among other statutes, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX is meant to protect people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Title IX states that: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
August 2021 Update – Schools now permitted to rely on relevant evidence
The 2020 Final Title IX Regulations created by the Trump Administration shifted Title IX’s focus away from survivor-centered campus processes and created more barriers for survivors. The Biden Administration is signaling changes, but must follow lengthy procedures before fully replacing the current law.
However, small changes can come from a variety of sources – including court orders. The Victim Rights Law Center sued the Department of Education, and the Court ordered the Department to remove one of the 2020 Rule’s most harmful sections.
Before the Court Order, campuses were not allowed to consider evidence (including text message confessions, apologies, or other admissions; statements made to law enforcement or campus investigators; or other critical information) if a Respondent or Witness simply refused cross-examination.
This created a gaping loophole – if a Respondent knew they admitted the sexual violence in a text message or email, or they told an investigator something that conveyed responsibility, they could wipe that evidence from consideration simply by refusing to attend the full hearing or just the cross-examination section.
To comply with the court order, the U.S. Department of Education eliminated this part of the rule. Schools are now permitted to rely on relevant evidence provided by a party or witness even if that person declines cross-examination.
OAESV expresses our sincere gratitude to the Plaintiffs in Victim Rights Law Center v. Cardona for their work in creating this critical change.
July 2021 Update
July 2020 Update
President Biden issued Executive Order 14021 on March 8, 2021, spurring review of the 2020 DeVos Title IX changes. Click the links to see the Executive Order and OAESV’s accompanying fact sheet below.
Press Release from US Department of Education – June 16, 2021
2020 Regulation Changes
In May 2020, OAESV held a three-part series to discuss the May 6, 2020, Title IX Regulations. Recordings of all three parts can be found on at oaesv.org/YouTube. Part 1 is shown directly below.