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Title IX Mandatory Reporting Expansion Under Fire

Title IX Mandatory Reporting Expansion Under Fire

Inside Higher Ed

Katherine Knott
September 27, 2022
Professors, researchers and sexual assault prevention advocates want the U.S. Department of Education to rethink plans to expand mandatory reporting requirements to more college employees as part of its overhaul of the Title IX law.
The department proposed requiring most campus employees to report cases of potential sex discrimination to Title IX in the regulations released earlier this summer. The public comment period for the new rules closed Sept. 12. The department received more than 240,000 comments, which it is reviewing before publishing a final set of regulations on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the law that prohibits sex discrimination in any education program or activity that receives federal funding.
Dozens of the published comments mentioned the mandatory reporting change, with faculty members, advocacy groups, students and others weighing in. Nearly all of the comments were opposed, criticizing the proposed provisions as ill-advised, complicated and not beneficial for survivors of sexual assault. Many critics said the department’s proposal would result in nearly all faculty members becoming mandatory reporters.
“Mandatory reporting systems where all but a few faculty and staff are required to report anything they hear, whether or not they have talked to or gotten consent from the student, effectively ruins opportunities for survivors to have a safe avenue for getting help,” wrote Pardes Lyons-Warren, chair of the Student Title IX Assistant Resource Team at Colorado College. “Maintaining control over survivors remains mandatory reporting’s key purpose, regardless of the violations of free speech, privacy and academic freedom that come with that.”
An Education Department spokesperson said in a statement that the Office for Civil Rights is reviewing the comments received during the comment period.
“We will take into consideration those comments and respond to them as part of our publication of the final rule,” the statement said.
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