Look, I hate writing about Betsy DeVos as much as you hate reading about her, but here we are again. Last fall, she issued dangerous guidance on sexual harassment that gave special rights to alleged harassers, rolled back protections for survivors, and made things more confusing for schools. And now, DeVos is about to propose terrible new Title IX regulations that encourage schools to ignore sexual harassment altogether.
In the past year, we’ve been hearing the same questions from students, parents, and educators: What are my rights as a student or parent? What are my duties as a school employee? What does Title IX even say anymore?
That’s why we created LET HER LEARN: A Toolkit to Stop School Pushout for Girls Who Have Experienced Sexual Harassment. This toolkit provides an easy-to-use, step-by-step checklist to help you find out if your school treats girls fairly when they have been sexually harassed.
Sexual harassment should never be the end of anyone’s education. It is a national crisis that one in five girls ages 14-18 have been kissed or touched without their consent, and that only 2% of them report the harassment to their parents, schools, or the police due to fear of victim-blaming and retaliation. And it is unacceptable that when girls do have the courage to come forward, schools often ignore or even punish them instead of investigating their reports of sexual harassment.
This toolkit will help you understand the basics of Title IX and clarify common misconceptions. For example, Title IX requires your school to investigate all incidents of sexual harassment of which it has notice to find out whether the harassment has made it harder for students to learn or stay in school—regardless of where it happened, who your harasser is, and what actions the police have taken.
Can you use this toolkit if you’re not a girl? Absolutely. Sexual harassment affects girls most often, but it can happen to anyone.
Can you use this toolkit if you’re a college or graduate student? Again, absolutely. Title IX applies to all K-12, college, and graduate students (and college and graduate students have additional rights under the Clery Act).
No matter what Betsy DeVos says, Title IX is still the law of the land, and you still have the right to learn in a safe environment.
Check out our toolkit here.