Students and Advocates Demand Urgent Action from Biden Administration to Release Final Title IX Rule

Washington, DC – December 5, 2023 Today, students, parents, educators, and advocacy groups gathered in front of the White House to demand the immediate release of the final Title IX rule. Title IX makes it illegal for schools to discriminate against students because of their sex. This includes protecting students from sexual violence and ensuring equal opportunities to participate in sports and other educational activities for LGBTQI+ and pregnant and parenting students. 

The coalition of organizations, including the National Women’s Law Center, Know Your IX (a project of Advocates for Youth), The Every Voice Coalition, End Rape on Campus, GLSEN, Human Rights Campaign, and the American Association of University Women, will rally to emphasize the critical need for robust Title IX protections and support for all students.

In 2020, the Trump administration issued new rules regarding sexual harassment in schools and universities. These rules encouraged administrators to dismiss certain complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual assault. During his presidential campaign, Joe Biden promised to revise the rules on sexual harassment in K-12 schools and colleges that were issued under Title IX. It wasn’t until June 2022 that the Biden administration proposed new Title IX rules that would undo much of the Trump administration changes from 2020 and clarify protections for LGBTQI+ and pregnant and parenting students.

“The current regulations created by the Trump administration have made it increasingly difficult for students to come forward and receive the necessary support for sexual harassment and discrimination,” said Shiwali Patel, Director of Justice for Student Survivors at the National Women’s Law Center. “President Biden promised to deliver the final rule by May 2023, and then later pushed it to October 2023. But still, there is no indication that the rule will be released before the end of the fall semester. Students can’t afford another delay.” 

“As students and survivors, we’ve had to live through over three years with a weakened Title IX rule designed to dismiss our experiences and impede justice. We’ve been left behind, with nowhere to turn when we are confronted with sexual harassment and discrimination on our campuses,” said Andrew Davis, student activist with Know Your IX (a project of Advocates for Youth) and The Every Voice Coalition. “It’s time for President Biden to prioritize our safety and well-being by releasing a strong final rule without delay.” 

At the rally, students and advocates made their voices heard, expressing the critical importance of immediate action and underscoring the detrimental impact of further delays. The event comes after the release of a letter signed by over 60 members of the Democratic Women’s Caucus and the Equality Caucus, urging the Biden Administration to finalize the Title IX rule.

“Historically, Title IX has been a critical tool in addressing the experiences of sexual assault and harassment survivors on college campuses. I am deeply concerned by the delay in finalizing new Title IX rules that would strengthen the protections that were weakened under the previous administration. These rules would also clarify protections for students who are parents, members of the LGBTQ+ community and pregnant. Everyone deserves a safe learning environment. I urge the Biden Administration to finalize the rules and increase campus safety,” said Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05).

“Students should be able to learn, compete, and succeed in safe and welcoming academic environments, but we’re still living under the Trump-era Title IX rule which weakened protections for sexual assault survivors, and undermined protections against sex discrimination. Too many survivors are suffering in silence, afraid to come forward for fear of retribution and lack of action,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-06). “The Biden Administration’s proposed rule would restore these protections, helping to give survivors, LGBTQI+ students, pregnant and parenting students, and others the necessary safeguards and the confidence to report assault and discrimination, and ensure their rights are upheld. I urge the Administration to finalize this rule as soon as possible.”