This morning, the U.S. Department of Education withdrew its 2011 guidance on responding to sexual violence in schools and replaced it with interim guidance that is less protective for survivors. It is especially troubling that this new guidance was issued just days after the Department of Education received thousands of comments urging it to uphold the 2011 guidance and its protections for student victims of sexual violence.
Legal Momentum is saddened by this new policy. Rather than creating an equal process for both victims and the accused, which should be the goal of the guidance, this policy prioritizes the rights of the accused over the rights of victims. The new policy will surely result in decreased safety—and decreased access to educational programs—for girls and women nationwide.
Legal Momentum stands with survivors. We urge students, parents, survivors, and advocates to continue speaking up—and we encourage any students or parents with questions about their rights to contact Legal Momentum’s Helpline at firstname.lastname@example.org.