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Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Condemns Move By Education Department to Undermine Civil Rights Protections

For Immediate Release September 22, 2017

Secretary of Education Weakens Title IX Guidance That Protect Civil Rights of All Students 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued the following statements Friday after Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the U.S. Department of Education has rescinded its federal policy guidance regarding a schools’ responsibility to prevent and address sex discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972:

“Title IX was enacted 45 years ago to guarantee that all students are entitled to a higher education experience in a safe environment free of sex discrimination.  With this action today, the Trump administration turns the screw on years of progress to provide safe learning environments and meaningful protections to students who experience sexual assault,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

“Current law is very clear that due process protections for both parties in sexual violence cases must be protected.  With her decision to pull the guidelines, Secretary DeVos has created a culture of confusion across the country that puts the civil rights of students in jeopardy,” said Brenda Shum, director of the Educational Opportunities Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  “If Secretary DeVos genuinely listens to public comments and input, it will further demonstrate the need for rigorous enforcement of the protections against sex discrimination.  And if the Department of Education issues regulations inconsistent with Title IX, we are prepared to take legal action to protect those whose civil rights have been violated.”

About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination.  Now in its 54th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.

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