Across schools in the United States, students today are fighting for their safety while trying to receive freedom and justice from abusers and assaulters on their campuses.

The major cause of this fight is rooted in new standards and regulations created by Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on May 7, 2020. Since the enactment of new Title IX standards, many sexual assault and rape complaints have been disregarded in schools because of newly allowed discretion.

These new standards make it difficult for cases to proceed and create an opportunity for more perpetrators to be left unpunished, which is already a large issue. In addition, hearings in Title IX cases now dramatically mimic a criminal courtroom, allowing victims to be cross-examined by their perpetrator’s friend, lawyer, parent or new partner.

Furthermore, retaliation against victims has grown since the implementation of these new standards, due the significant undercutting of the previous 60-day period for an investigation and decision, leaving many victims unprotected and at risk. A false justification for these new regulations is that perpetrators had not been previously given due process, but this perpetuates the inaccurate representation that victims are not truthful. Creating protection from assault should not fall on the victims, but rather should be the responsibility of school administrators and federal legislators.

The creation and foundation of Title IX freedoms and liberties were written to support gender equality in education, yet current Title IX regulations silence victims, protect predators, ignore injustice, and perpetuate inequality and oppression in education. To combat this injustice there must be an urgent and combined effort from students, parents, teachers and administrators to write to legislators, join coalitions and demand a change in policy within our education.

Thank you for your time,

ADDISON WRIGHT

Rindge

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