Biden OCR Issues Proposed Title IX Rule Drastically Changing Title IX Process for Schools on 50th Anniversary of Title IX

By Jackie Gharapour Wernz & Holly McIntush

The long awaited proposed Title IX regulation from the Biden administration’s U.S. Department of Education was released today, on the 50th anniversary of Title IX. You can find the proposed rule here. As expected, the proposed rule includes provisions that, if they become law, would drastically change the process schools, colleges, and universities use to address Title IX sexual harassment reports. The current process is from the Trump administration’s Title IX rule, which has been in effect for less than two years. Among other things, the proposed rule would grant explicit legal protections to LGBTQI+ students, replace the “severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive” definition for a hostile environment with a lower “severe or pervasive” standard, and remove the requirement that a formal complaint be signed or filed to initiate the complaint process.

Playing Prime Time or Stuck on a Broken-Down Bus? Are Your High School Athletics Programs Providing Equal Benefits under Title IX?

By Jackie Wernz, Adam Rothey, Matt Reed, and Kendra Yoch

Historically, K-12 athletics have taken a back seat to collegiate athletics when it comes Title IX enforcement, whether in the form of private litigation or investigations by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”).  More recently, however, we are seeing an emerging focus on Title IX enforcement in high school athletics, and specifically allegations that female teams are receiving unequal benefits compared to their male counterparts. Is your district in compliance? An internal review can help ensure equal opportunities and benefits for your athletes and avoid costly disputes. Here’s what to look for.

New Year, New Title IX Policy? Four Steps to Get Your Policies and Procedures in Shape

It’s 2022. We know that we are expecting new proposed Title IX rules in April 2022. Still, if that tells us anything, it’s that we will be living with the current Title IX regulations for at least another calendar year, and probably for a whole school year after that. Schools cannot be complacent in ensuring that policies and procedures are up to standard under the current rules simply because new rules are coming sometime in the future. I know; it’s not what anyone wants to hear. But the good news is, updating your policies and procedures does not have to be painful. Here are four steps you can take to get your policies and procedures in the best possible position for the next few semesters while the 2020 Title IX rules will still be in effect.