Facing mounting pressure and protest over a series of sex scandals involving higher education, the U.S. Department of Education under President Barack Obama issued new guidelines for how schools would be expected to pursue potential Title IX claims.
Those guidelines, issued in 2011 in what is called a “Dear Colleague” letter and subsequent guidance, provided greater protections for potential victims, saying that schools not only needed to respond to claims quickly, but they also needed to do so in a trauma-informed manner. But that could change.
Along with the Obama-era guidance came a growing backlash, where schools came under increasing criticism that their new procedures were violating basic due process rights of the accused.
In September 2017, seven months after President Donald Trump’s administration took the reigns of the Department of Education, the Obama-era guidelines were repealed, and new guidance was issued in the form of a Q&A. The administration is said to be developing official rules that schools must follow that are aimed at not only providing timely and effective responses to potential Title IX violations, but also expanding due process procedures for the accused.
Delving into the pros and cons, litigators and former administrators are expecting to see changes as a result of these proposals.