AAUW to Participate in Department of Education Meeting on Title IX
July 13, 2017
WASHINGTON—Anne Hedgepeth, interim vice president of public policy and government relations for the American Association of University Women (AAUW), issued the following statement following the announcement that the U.S. Department of Education will hold a series of meetings and roundtable discussions on Thursday, July 13, 2017, focusing on Title IX, the federal law banning sex discrimination in all federally funded education programs. AAUW has been invited to join the discussion on Title IX alongside higher education administrators, law professors, and other higher education associations. In this meeting, AAUW will continue to demand that Title IX be strengthened and fully enforced. Title IX’s protections ensure that sexual harassment, including violence, does not interfere with or limit students’ educations.
“By rescinding guidance protecting transgender students and backing away from systemically investigating Title IX complaints, this Department of Education has already raised concerns about its commitment to ensuring our schools are free from sex discrimination. The department should reverse course on these actions and commit to maintaining all Title IX guidance and regulations.
In addition, we know that a one-day conversation on this issue is nowhere near enough if we are to effectively end sex discrimination in education and ensure safe campuses for all students. We hope that this is the start of many meetings that the department holds with survivors and advocates on how to ensure strong enforcement and technical assistance that will help schools improve their responses.
AAUW also stands with survivors of campus sexual assault who earlier in the day will share their experiences. Their perspectives, along with the many other stories not heard in the room on Thursday, further show the importance and need for schools to have proper responses to sexual harassment and violence. We look forward to working closely with the Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos to protect civil rights and equal opportunity so our students can reach their full potential in a climate free of discrimination and violence.”
Since 1972, Title IX has opened the door for women and girls in education by prohibiting sex discrimination in America’s federally funded schools and educational activities. Our Title IX successes are hard won and never taken for granted. Although schools can no longer openly deny admission to women, we still have work to do to ensure that schools fulfill their obligations to maintain safe and equitable climates for students in all aspects of education, including STEM fields, career and technical education, sexual violence, support for pregnant and parenting students, athletics, and single-sex education.
AAUW’s 2 page title-ix-quickfacts-nsa provides more background on these obligations.