SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today responded to the U.S. Department of Education’s final rule weakening a number of protections under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). The Trump Administration’s final rule undermines several of Title IX’s core protections that enable students to learn in an environment free from discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment and violence. With school resources already stretched thin due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, this rule threatens to require schools to divert attention away from critical work being done to protect students in order to revise and implement new policies in response to complex new federal regulations. This new rule creates additional burdens for schools while weakening protections for students subjected to sexual harassment and assault.
“The President has made it abundantly clear time and time again that he has no empathy or regard for survivors of sexual violence — and this rule makes it harder for students to get help,” said Attorney General Becerra. “In this moment of crisis for our nation, the focus should be on helping our communities, schools, and families, not increasing burdens on academic institutions doing their part to fight this unprecedented pandemic. In California, we stand ready to defend the rights of students in our state and across the country.”
Earlier this year, Attorney General Becerra joined a multistate coalition calling on the Trump Administration to suspend the Title IX rulemaking process in light of COVID-19. Last year, Attorney General Becerra co-led a coalition of 19 attorneys general highlighting how the initial proposed rule would frustrate the very purpose of Title IX.