U.S. Department Of Education Announces Initiative To Combat Sexual Assault In K-12 Public Schools

CATEGORY: Public Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Public Education
DATE: Mar 27, 2020

The U.S. Department of Education announced a new Title IX enforcement initiative to combat the rise of reported sexual assault in K-12 public schools. The Department’s Office for Civil Rights enforces Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination includes sexual harassment and assault, which interferes with students’ rights to receive an education free from discrimination based on sex.

Under the initiative, the Department’s Office for Civil Rights will undertake the following activities:

  • Compliance Reviews: OCR will conduct nationwide compliance reviews in schools and districts examining how sexual assault cases are handled under Title IX, including sexual incidents involving teachers and school staff.
  • Public Awareness and Support: OCR will make information available to educators, school leaders, parents, and families regarding sexual assault in K-12 schools.
  • Data Quality Reviews: OCR will conduct review the sexual assault/offenses data submitted by school districts through the Civil Rights Data Collection and ensure districts accurately record and report incidents of sexual assault/sexual offenses through the CRDC.
  • Proposed CRDC Data Collection: OCR proposed to collect more detailed data on sexual assault for the 2019-2020 Civil Rights Data Collection. The proposed data collection includes incidents perpetrated by school staff or school personnel.

Read the Department’s press release here

The U.S. Department of Education is currently evaluating public comments on its proposed Title IX regulations. The proposed regulations may change an educational entity’s legal obligation under Title IX to respond to incidents of sexual violence. LCW is tracking the regulations and will continue to provide updates.