The White House showed clear intent that they are committed to stem sexual assaults on campuses across the country by releasing a set of guidelines and proposals today. A White House task force admonished the role of colleges and universities administration in tackling sexual assault, with a response that shows the White House believes that the current approach to sexual assault on campuses is wholly inadequate.
The task force seeks to focus on: helping schools identify the problem; preventing sexual assault; helping schools respond effectively when a student is sexually assaulted; and improving and making more transparent the federal enforcement efforts.
Federal officials have also launched a new website, www.notalone.gov, which is designed to support victims of sexual assault and help them where their schools have failed. The website also provides guidance for schools to help them better understand federal laws, their responsibilities and develop a sexual assault policy and procedure.
This is an authoritative and important move from the federal government that has been widely supported by grass-root campaigners and student-led organizations. Colleges and universities have largely failed to handle sexual assault on their campuses, which has led to an explosion of complaints and campaigns over the past year and a number of cases citing a violation of Title IX. The federal government has made a positive step towards improving school’s response to sexual assault.
To read about Gordon Law Group’s and Rodgers, Powers and Schwartz’s role in supporting the Title IX effort, please click here. And, of course, if you’ve been involved in sexual violence on campus or suffered retaliation for helping students, contact us.
Philip Gordon, together with Elizabeth Rodgers of Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz LLP, is leading part of the Title IX effort against Harvard University. They represent Dr. Kimberly Theidon, an accomplished anthropology professor at Harvard University who has seemingly been denied tenure for supporting students who were victims of sexual assault and critical of Harvard’s approach to their cases. Click here to read an interview with Theidon, Gordon and Rodgers.
Colleges and universities across the country are facing ever-increasing scrutiny as to how they deal with instances of sexual assault on campus, including Harvard University where students have filed a separate Title IX complaint to the U.S. Department of Education. Title IX protects students against sexual harassment and sexual violence because it denies the student the right to an education free from discrimination. There has been a wave of exposure in the media, including coverage of Theidon’s case which you can read here. You can also read the Huffington Post’s coverage of Harvard’s students’ complaint by clicking here.
“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”
Title IX is a law passed in 1972 designed to require gender equality in every federally funded educational program. Title IX is perhaps best known for providing equal opportunities in athletics. However, the law has a wide scope and refers to many different areas including:
- Learning Environment
- Access to Higher Education
- Math and Science
- Career Education
- Sexual Harassment
- Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students
- Standardized Testing
As a result, any person involved in federally funded education, from students to teachers, is protected by Title IX from any discriminatory, retaliatory or biased factors that may arise in the classroom, on the sports field, or in any other arena.
Philip Gordon and Elizabeth Rodgers have represented clients in a range of Title IX matters and can provide the experience and know-how to implement a law that many schools are not in compliance with or simply do not understand.
For more information on Title IX, visit www.titleix.info or contact us.