SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Fifty years ago, Title nine was enacted to ensure that no one in education experiences discrimination based on sex. Now the U.S. Department of Education is seeking public input on proposed changes to Title IX regulations. The department is considering making changes to Title IX in order to fill gaps in the current regulations.
“Title IX is in fact, one of the ways that we ensure that students have access that they feel welcome throughout their educational experience with us,” said Dr. Joan Barrett, Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs at Ozarks Technical Community College. “This is not a place they need to fight to avoid discrimination.”
Some of the changes include
- Not requiring a live hearing to evaluate evidence if a private investigation can take place.
- Anyone involved in helping resolve a title nine complaint must not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against the parties involved.
- Strengthening requirements that schools must provide accommodations to pregnant and parenting students.
- Require schools to provide supportive measures to students and employees who have complained or been accused of sexual harassment.
- Expand on a parent’s right to act on behalf of a minor when seeking assistance for title nine concerns.
Title IX establishes regulations for any institution that receives federal funding should handle student or employee complaints of discrimination and harassment.
“If a student comes forward and lets us know that they’re concerned that they may have been harassed or discriminated against based on their sex, we have a process where we’ll speak with the student and ask them probing questions to determine if, in fact, it does raise to the level of a Title IX infraction,” said Dr. Barrett. “Our job is to let students know that this is a place that’s welcoming to them. That attaining their educational goals is paramount and that if they do have a complaint where exactly they can take that complaint and how exactly we will respond.”
Another proposed change includes protecting students from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The new regulations would make preventing someone from the LGBTQ community from participating in school activities and programs a Title IX violation. The Department of Education plans to issue a separate notice on how the regulations will apply to athletics after it has determined students’ eligibility to play on either male or female teams.
The goal of Title IX is to provide all students with a positive learning environment without fear of discrimination.
“Title IX is important because as society has adjusted, we still need some got some guardrails, and that is to say, to check ourselves and our processes to make sure that they’re not discriminating against people based on certain classifications,” said Dr. Barrett.
Public comment is not opened yet but it will be open soon. Once it is opened, you can go to www.regulations.gov to submit your thoughts.
For the complete proposal of amendments Click HERE.
For a fact sheet summarizing the proposal CLICK HERE.
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