U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced last week plans to revise Obama-era civil rights guidance on Title IX and sexual assault, a move that could affect elementary and secondary schools.
While discussions on that directive largely focused on its effects on college and universities, advocates for sexual assault victims said it helped clarify the responsibilities of educational institutions at all levels. That clarity benefited K-12 schools, which have often lagged in their responsibilities to investigate assaults, to appoint Title IX coordinators, and to ensure that survivors of such incidents are free from fear and harassment from perpetrators, said Neena Chaudhry, the director of education for the National Women’s Law Center, which supported the guidance.
Some conservative groups have said the guidance led to “kangaroo courts” on college campuses, under which the rights of the accused were not respected.
A version of this article appeared in the September 13, 2017 edition of Education Week as DeVos Actions on Title IX, Sex Assaults Could Affect K-12 Schools