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March 25, 2020

COVID-19 Must Not Be Used to Further Limit the Rights of Accused Students or Slow Enactment of Proposed Title IX Regulations


Patricia Hamill

Despite challenges presented by COVID-19, many universities continue to plow ahead with Title IX proceedings, touting their ability to do so by leveraging technologies such as video conferencing. Simultaneously, universities and others cite the pandemic in a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Education, seeking to halt the Title IX rulemaking process.

Efforts to restore due process to Title IX proceedings must not be deferred. Students accused of Title IX violations already have limited rights to defend themselves when their schools deny them things that would be remedied by the proposed regulations, including access to full evidence and the right to question their accusers before an impartial decisionmaker. If universities continue conducting disciplinary proceedings, they should be required to satisfy the requirements of Title IX, due process, and basic fairness. If they are not prepared to provide these fundamental procedural protections, they only have themselves to blame.

Learn more about educational institutions citing COVID-19 as the reason to defer the Title IX rulemaking process here.