The Biden administration approved a proposed New Title IX Regulations 2022 on Thursday that would significantly alter how colleges should respond to cases of sexual assault. The proposed rule also enhances protections for LGBTQ students.
New Title IX Regulations 2022
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is the law that protects students, faculty, and staff from sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programmes.
For the first time in history, the proposed rule prohibits discrimination on college campuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to sex. Many people are expected to attack that defense. LGBTQ students were protected under Title IX during the Obama administration, but this was never added to the regulations.
Many of the Trump administration’s requirements for investigations of cases of discrimination, such as cross-examination of witnesses, are also eliminated in the proposed rule, which many critics of the 2020 regulations said imposed burdens on victims of harassment. It also allows colleges to develop their own grievance procedures and policies.
“Our goal was to give full effect to the law’s reach and to deliver on its promise to prevent all students from sex-based harassment,” said Miguel Cardona, education secretary. “Our proposed changes would fully protect students from all forms of sex discrimination, instead of limiting some protections to sexual harassment alone, and make those protections include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Highlights of the Proposal
- Expands coverage to behavior that occurs in education programs off campus, including out of country. (The Trump administration required discrimination to be shown on campus.)
- Expands mandatory reporting requirements to all employees at colleges that operate an educational program who have knowledge of an instance of sex discrimination.
- Created new eligibility for retroactive complaints after a student leaves an educational program due to an instance of discrimination.
- Requires “prompt time frames” for investigating cases of discrimination.
- Elimination of cross-examination and live hearing requirement from the rules for campus hearings.
- Requires colleges to allow students who participate in a live hearing to do so remotely if they choose.
- Allows informal resolution of an incident without the submission of a formal complaint. (The Trump administration required a formal complaint.)
- Requires protections for pregnant students and employees.
For the next 60 days, the proposed guideline will be available for public comment. Due to the current evolving legal decisions regarding transgender students’ participation in sports, the administration will also engage in a separate rule-making process on student athletes. According to senior department officials, it is unclear when the process will begin.
The public comment period on the rules is expected to generate a flood of feedback and attention. Parts of the regulations are expected to be challenged in court.