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The Department of Education has opened the public comment period on their proposed regulations on Title IX. Rather than strengthening protections, the proposed changes would narrow the definition of sexual harassment and assault and reduce schools’ responsibility to safeguard their students. Click to read the full text here.

This year has shown us the immense courage required of survivors who come forward with their stories and these changes would risk seeing many survivors step back into the shadows.

This public comment period will allow the public to voice their opinions about these proposed regulations. We have until January 28, 2019 to submit comments.  Make sure the Department of Education knows that all students deserve to feel safe in the places where they learn.

For a quick run down on Title IX and the notice-and-comment process, download the Hands Off IX toolkit here. For more insight into the proposed changes, view this guide from the National Women’s Law Center.

For more comprehensive information on the notice-and-comment process, take five minutes to watch this video from Know Your IX.

Many thanks to EROC and Know Your IX for lending the comment tool below.

Athlete Testimonials

Layshia Clarendon

WNBA All-Star, 2018 FIBA World Champion

“My name is Layshia Clarendon. I’m a WNBA All-Star and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. I am also a sexual assault survivor. The Department of Education’s proposed changes to Title IX, spearheaded by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, would restrict the rights of victims and survivors on college campuses. They would make reporting abuse — already a difficult process — even harder and would discourage the reporting process altogether. They would protect the accused in an environment where the legal pendulum already swings in their favor.

We can’t let this fly under the radar. Whether you realize it or not, statistically, you know a sexual assault survivor. Be their voice.”

Sophia Herzog

Paralympic Silver Medalist, Swimming

“Being part of a swim team and having all that fun I realized I had talent that I didn’t know I had. Ultimately it blossomed into confidence and I believe my life has been changed positively by the woman I’ve become and the physical strength and confidence that I have achieved. I wanted it (to go to the Paralympics) bad enough I wasn’t going to let anyone or anything tear me down. I urge you to join me in submitting a comment to Betsy Devos in an effort to protect Title IX as we know.”

Dawn Riley

Professional Sailer, one of Sport’s Illustrated’s Top 100 Greatest Female Athletes of the 20th Century, WSF Past President

“I have fought hard to get to where I am, but it hasn’t been easy. I have been lucky to become so successful and would like to think that because I was able to do it all girls and women can. This is just not the case! I know that on a personal level [Secretary DeVos] support[s] women and their success, but we all need to protect those who are still becoming strong powerful women. They are not there yet – they are kids!”

Phaidra Knight

World Rugby Hall of Famer, Three-Time Rugby World Cup Participant

“Recently, the Department of Education, led by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, introduced changes that would effectively weaken Title IX’s impact, discouraging victims and survivors from stepping out of the shadows to report sexual harassment or assault. We have made far too may gains to allow this sort of injustice, in light of an already unjust system. Use your voice by speaking out. Let Betsy DeVos know that the outlined changes are not okay. Make a difference. #KnowYourIX and #HandsOffIX.”

Dana Feiss

Four-time National Champion, Track Cycling

“The U.S. Department of Education wants to strip Title IX of its provisions and reduce schools’ responsibility to protect students against sexual assault and harassment. It will also diminish and limit procedures and resources to survivors. This spans beyond sport and into the right to a safe educational space and system for everyone. Survivors come in every shape, size, sex, gender, race, culture and class. This amendment will drastically limit the ability for every teacher, coach, parent, friend and countless other resources to actually help them. Luckily, the department is required to hear grievances against the amendment – or provide legitimate reasoning and responses for ignoring them. Make your voice heard.”