Student Survivor Organizers Comment on the Biden Administration’s Proposed Changes to Title IX

For Immediate Release: June 23, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, following over a year of organizing by student survivors to undo Betsy DeVos’ anti-survivor Title IX rule, the Biden administration released their proposed changes to Title IX. The proposed rule would provide much needed changes for student survivors, including requiring schools to respond to all complaints of gender violence – regardless of where the violence occurs – as well as complaints of sexual violence that have the potential to threaten students’ ability to participate in their education. The proposed changes also provide students with protections against retaliation after reporting discrimination, as well as LGBTQ students, and pregnant and parenting students.

Currently, nearly 40% of survivors who report to their school are pushed out of education. The 2020 Title IX regulation has had devastating impacts on student survivors, and was written with the help of men’s rights activists, who sought to make it harder for schools to hold abusers accountable. 

Emma Grasso Levine, Manager of Know Your IX – a survivor and youth-led project of Advocates for Youth that aims to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in their schools spoke about the importance of the changes to Title IX: “We are glad to see that so many of the changes that student survivors, organizers, and survivor advocates have pushed for are included in the proposed regulations. We will continue to uplift student survivors’ experiences and advocate for regulations that meet student survivors’ needs as the Biden administration finalizes their Title IX rule.”

Grasso Levine added, “On the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Title IX’s potential has yet to be fully realized, and the Biden administration releasing their proposed changes is a crucial step towards reaching that potential. We are continuing to see student survivors experience punishment, retaliation, and be pushed out of school due to the anti-survivor 2020 regulations, which give schools permission to shirk their responsibility to protect students. It cannot be overstated how much student survivors need these Title IX rule changes to ensure fair grievance processes, and guarantee that survivors’ education is not further interrupted by the impacts of sexual violence.”

Dharma Koffer, Know Your IX Policy Organizer, spoke to the positive impact this rule will have on student survivors: “Student survivors have been organizing to shift the narrative around Title IX and ensure no student is denied their right to an education free from violence. These changes are urgently needed and mark an important step towards restoring vital protections for students. They strengthen protections for LGBTQI+ students by protecting from discrimination based on sex stereotypes, characteristics, sexual orientation, and gender identity. And they expand protections for students and employees who are pregnant or have pregnancy-related conditions.”

Students and advocates will now have 60 days to review the proposed rule and submit comments to the Department of Education (ED) providing feedback on which parts of the rule will give student survivors the support they need, and what changes ED must make to ensure no student is unfairly treated or punished for having experienced gender-based violence. 

Know Your IX is currently reviewing ED’s draft rule and will be facilitating listening sessions with students to ensure that their experiences and needs are centered during the notice and comment process. Following these listening sessions, Know Your IX will draft a collective comment that will be signed by student survivors and submitted to the ED to share feedback on the proposed rule and what additional changes students would like to see.