A DeVos Speech on Title IX Heightens Advocates’ Fears That a Rollback Is Imminent
On Wednesday, the U.S. Education Department confirmed that the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, would appear at George Mason University on Thursday to make a "major policy address on Title IX enforcement." That announcement, previously reported by BuzzFeed News, heightened advocates’ fears that Ms. DeVos was poised to roll back the department’s efforts on mitigating campus sexual assault, a hallmark of the Obama years.
BuzzFeed had also reported that the department’s top civil-rights official, Candice Jackson, intended to revisit the department’s 2011 "Dear Colleague" letter — a directive that laid out exactly what the government expected colleges to do to protect students from sexual violence — through a process called notice and comment.
Advocates have viewed the issuance of that letter, which used the gender-equity law known as Title IX as a legal basis, as a momentous step in acknowledging the risk of sexual assault faced by college students. . .