(from the New York Times) U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is working to overhaul federal rules on sexual misconduct that will impact not only college campuses, but also public elementary and secondary schools, where Title IX also applies. DeVos is seeking to put into place more protections for the accused and offer relief for educational institutions. Research has shown public K-12 schools are not handling misconduct cases uniformly or in alignment with current rules, leaving victims outraged and hurt, and further changes could prompt more dissatisfaction among victims and their families.
Where universities may need to change their procedures and adjudication processes to comply with the new rules, public elementary and secondary schools have been found to have no rules at all for dealing with sexual misconduct. In 2016, the Obama administration issued guidance to K-12 schools as part of its overhaul of campus rules on sexual assault. The administration had seen a jump in sexual violence complaints in K-12 systems, to 83 in 2016 from 11 in 2009. The Education Department is currently investigating 652 complaints of Title IX violations related to sexual harassment and violence, 279 of which are against K-12 schools.
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