The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education went on record on Sept. 15 to oppose recent changes to Title IX regulations that could discourage sexual harassment complaints.
Title IX is a civil rights law that bars discrimination on the basis of sex, which can include sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault, in educational institutions that receive federal support. Controversial changes to Title IX regulations, which were proposed by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, went into effect in August. Supporters of the changes say they better protect the accused from false allegations, but critics say the rollback of rule changes put in place by the Obama administration removes protections for victims.
Los Angeles Unified will implement the new federal rules, according to the resolution sponsored by board member Scott M. Schmerelson, along with other relevant policies and laws that will provide investigative and grievance procedures to protect all students and employees in their learning and work environments and ensure nondiscrimination and a safe, supportive school climate. The resolution was co-sponsored by the six other board members.
“I am pleased to introduce a resolution that opposes the current Title IX regulations and proposes new standards for Los Angeles Unified that will maintain the safest and fairest process free of any type of discrimination for all students regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexual preference,” Schmerelson said. “It is my hope that this resolution would be the first step towards updating mandatory policies and training so that all district stakeholders know what to do, to properly report a situation as well as provide the necessary support for students and staff during any investigation.”
“I’m proud of the work that L.A. Unified has done to support victims of sexual harassment and abuse,” board member Nick Melvoin said. “Despite the federal government’s attempts to roll back protections with its new Title IX regulations, I know that we will continue working to ensure that our schools are safe, welcoming environments for all students and employees, and that victims of harassment have prompt and appropriate avenues to report and address concerns.”
For information, visit lausd.net.
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