Debra Katz and Hannah Alejandro Publish Title IX Op-Ed in USA Today

August 15, 2017

Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Debra Katz and senior counsel Hannah Alejandro co-authored an op-ed piece that published in USA Today on Aug. 3. Titled “Betsy Devos’ Title IX approach fails to trust women who report sexual assault,” the article takes a critical assessment of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ implication that she will abandon Title IX’s application to the crisis of sex-based violence on college campuses, despite the fact that overwhelming evidence shows that sexual assault is endemic in university settings.

In the piece, Katz and Alejandro point out a number of problematic signs that could reflect a rollback on Title IX enforcement. For example, Secretary DeVos and Candice Jackson, head of the Office of Civil Rights, recently went on record promoting baseless stereotypes about sexual assault and criticizing Title IX enforcement under the Obama administration. Such stereotypes include the false statistic cited by Jackson that “90%” of campus sexual assault accusations do not involve any sex-based violence but are simply post-break up complaints about drunken sex that was “not quite right.”

Katz and Alejandro also take Secretary DeVos and Jackson to task for perpetuating bias against those who make accusations of sexual assault.  As the authors write in the piece, “DeVos and Jackson have targeted women for distrust and disrespect in a way that violates the essential spirit of Title IX, reinforcing false notions that have driven so many to suffer in silence.”

To read the full article, click here.

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