Oppose DeVos administration’s changes to Title IX
March 25, 2018


Whereas, Title IX is a federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in schools and legally requires institutions to respond to reports of sexual harassment and assault; and

Whereas, the 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter” that implemented the guideline that investigations must be completed by schools within 60 days and the 2014 “Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence, both of which prompted campuses to conduct more timely investigations of assault were repealed on September 7, 2017, by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, which will once again make it easier for institutions to put accusations of assault on the backburner; and

Whereas, the 2011 guidelines give schools the option to set a clear and convincing standard of evidence for assault cases and the repeal of these measures means that assault would have to be proven substantially more likely to be true than untrue as well as give schools the option to remove the 60-day requirement for investigation completion, which could potentially cause investigations to drag on for months, even years; and

Whereas, the DeVos administration’s changes to Title IX has created a climate of uncertainty on college campuses making it more difficult for students to come forward with sexual harassment claims which would be particularly detrimental to reporting, as survivors of assault already face a lot of disbelief and victim blaming when coming forward;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the California Federation of Teachers write letters to the colleges where it represents faculty and classified staff urging them to maintain the “preponderance of evidence” standard and 60-day completion of an investigation as established by the Obama administration to assure that victims of sexual harassment are protected from retaliation, are willing to bring forward their sexual harassment claims, and are treated fairly as they seek justice.