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Title IX and Campus Sexual Assault

- June 21, 2019
Should more be done to protect the rights of the accused?
Featured Report

College campuses are embroiled in a fierce debate over how to handle sexual misconduct cases under Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits sex discrimination in schools receiving federal funds. Under regulations proposed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, students accused of on-campus harassment or assault would have the right to be represented by a lawyer and to cross-examine the accuser in a judicial-like hearing. Some legal experts support the proposal, saying previous Title IX rules issued by the Obama administration did not do enough to protect the due process rights of the accused. But others say DeVos' approach would roll back Obama-era protections for victims and limit a school's responsibility to respond to campus sexual misconduct. Congress has joined the debate as it tries to craft legislation that addresses the concerns of both sides. Meanwhile, as the number of sexual harassment and assault cases in elementary and secondary schools grows, so too do questions about how K-12 schools are handling them.

Congressional Debate

Campus Developments

1970s–1980sLandmark sex discrimination law is enacted.
1990s–2010Congress passes laws to make campuses safer and protect women from sexual violence.
2011–PresentObama administration overhauls Title IX guidelines to help accusers.

Would the Education Department's Title IX proposals roll back protections against campus sexual harassment and assault?


Suzanne Taylor
Systemwide Title IX Director, University of California.


Joe Cohn
Legislative and Policy Director, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.


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