Protestors Call on the Department of Education to Do More About Sexual Assaults on Campus

department_of_educationOn Monday of this week a group of demonstrators assembled outside the Department of Education building in Washington, D.C., demanding greater enforcement of Title IX of the Higher Education Act Amendments and increased protection for women against sexual assaults on college campuses. The protesters delivered more than 112,000 signatures on a petition calling for greater protection for women at our nation’s institutions of higher education. Since that time, the number of people who have signed the petition is now more than 154,000

The petition read in part, “The Department of Education’s (ED) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is tasked with enforcing Title IX and has the power to levy a range of sanctions against colleges violating students’ civil rights. Yet instead of employing these tools, the OCR concludes investigations of offending universities with ‘voluntary resolution agreements’ — signed promises that the college will do better in the future — and refuses to issue findings of noncompliance — the administrative equivalent of a guilty verdict. This strategy of all carrot and no stick may be well-meaning, but it is ineffective, allowing universities to avoid their legal responsibilities at the cost of student safety and academic opportunity.”

After delivering the petition and accompanying signatures, the group met with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and a follow-up meeting was agreed to before the end of the month. Alexandra Brodsky, a representative of the protestors who survived an attempted rape when she was a first-year student at Yale University, stated, “Universities’ failure to properly protect students means that we won’t see real change on this issue until the Department of Education uses their power to enforce the laws on the books.”

The full petition can be viewed here.

Filed Under: Sexual Assault/Harassment


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