Law & Justice Legal Sexual Harassment

Confusing “Workplace Harassment” Bill is Back

by Hans Bader, January 18, 2021

“Old bills never die, they just wait for votes,” notes the East Bay Times. A bad bill can die in one legislative session, only to come back with a vengeance in the next session, and get passed due to more intense lobbying, or the death or retirement of opposing lawmakers.

That may happen this year in Virginia. One example is the resurrection of a complicated and confusing workplace harassment bill I discussed last year. It died in March 2020 on a 23-to-17 vote, apparently after legislators became concerned about the strange way it defined “workplace harassment.” That bill, HB 1418, banned both “sexual harassment” and “workplace harassment” at workplaces with five or more workers. It also redefined what “harassment” means.

That bill has now come back from the dead. It has been re-introduced in the House of Delegates as HB 2155. And a more extreme version of the bill was introduced in the state senate as SB 1360.

These bills say “conduct may be workplace harassment regardless of whether” the “conduct occurred outside of the workplace.” And they omit the requirement that conduct be “unwelcome” before it can constitute harassment. That requirement is found in federal sexual harassment laws and court rulings.

Furthermore, the bills say plaintiffs can sue even if they “participated in” the conduct. That might allow workers to sue their employer over welcome participation in foolish activities with co-workers that they later regret, or even conduct they instigated that resulted in embarrassment or discomfort.

The Senate bill, SB 1360, contains a new provision that will make things even worse for employers. It says that “The construction of similar laws in federal courts or other jurisdictions shall not be used to limit the availability of remedies under this chapter.”

So if this bill is enacted, employers will not longer be able to get lawsuits over trivial things dismissed by citing federal court rulings dismissing lawsuits over similarly trivial conduct. Workers will be able to make a mountain out of a molehill.

And businesses trying to comply with the law won’t even be able to look at existing case law to shed light on whether they are in compliance, under this bill. That will create a great deal of confusion.

What sexual harassment means, legally, is fleshed out for employers by rulings in the federal courts, such as the Supreme Court.

Those rulings “drawing the line” for employers, provide valuable guidance for employers as to what is — and isn’t — sexual harassment.

But these Virginia “workplace harassment” bills don’t follow that guidance. And the Senate bill explicitly rejects the “construction of similar laws” against sexual harassment by the “federal courts.”

These bills do include various factors as to what it considers “workplace harassment.” But only some of them are consistent with what the federal courts say in the context of sexual harassment, and they omit other factors cited by the courts.

These “workplace harassment” bills apply to all employers with five or more workers.

Federal and state law already prohibit sexual harassment and discriminatory harassment against most workers. Right now, a federal law bans racial harassment at even the smallest employers (42 U.S.C. 1981). But other forms of harassment are not prohibited as comprehensively at small employers.

Employers with 15 or more workers are subject to federal laws categorically forbidding not just sexual harassment, but also harassment based on racereligion, disability, age, national origin, etc. But employers with fewer than 15 workers aren’t subject to most other federal employment laws, only state laws, and employers with fewer than five workers aren’t liable for sexual harassment under state law unless it involves a common-law wrong, such as quid-pro-quo sexual harassment; assault; battery; intentional infliction of emotional distress (severe forms of sexual harassment that intentionally or recklessly cause psychological harm); invasion of privacy; or other torts.  (See, e.g., Van Buren v. Grubb (2012); Middlekauf v. Allstate Ins. Co. (1994)).

Additional forms of harassment are illegal under state law at employers with 5 to 14 workers. They are subject to the Virginia Values Act, which bans discriminatory discharges of employees. Courts interpret “discriminatory discharge” to include sexual harassment and discriminatory harassment that creates an intolerable working environment and thus motivates the employee to quit — such as a steady stream of sexual insults. (See Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders (2004)).

It’s a mistake for these Virginia “harassment” bills to imply that it’s irrelevant whether “conduct occurred outside of the workplace,” in a case that’s supposedly about “workplace harassment.” Inappropriate behavior is much less likely to be sexual harassment when it occurs outside the workplace. As Judge Barbara Crabb ruled in one sexual harassment case, “Even top level executives are entitled to make fools of themselves after work and on their own time.” (See Alvey v. Rayovac Corp. (1996)).

Juries should not be told the contrary, as these “workplace harassment” bills do.

In theory, conduct outside the workplace could be “workplace harassment” in rare cases — just as a person could theoretically be innocent of bank robbery, despite being seen with a gun in the getaway car near the bank right after the robbery.

But that’s not usually true. The location of conduct is obviously relevant to whether it amounts to “workplace harassment.” So these bills should not suggest to the contrary with their “regardless” language.

These bills also create problems by stating that “conduct may be workplace harassment regardless of whether … the conduct is also experienced by others outside the protected class involved.”  This will encourage juries to find liability in some cases where nothing discriminatory is going on, as I explained back in 2020, and may occasionally lead to liability for speech that is protected by the First Amendment, because the state of Virginia lacks a compelling interest in restricting it.

The government has a compelling state interest in eradicating discrimination, but not in banning offensive workplace speech that is not discriminatory — or is not severe and pervasive enough to create a hostile environment. For some employers, such as the producers of TV sitcoms, offensive speech is a necessary part of the workplace, even if some listeners view the speech that occurs in the creative process as “harassing” — as Justice Ming Chin of the California Supreme Court discussed in his concurring opinion in Lyle v. Warner Bros. Television Productions (2006)).

Harassment bans that are vague or confusing can violate the First Amendment by depriving speakers of fair notice of what is forbidden, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Cohen v. San Bernardino Valley College (1996).

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.”

Confusing “Workplace Harassment” Bill is Back | Bacon’s Rebellion


Title IX

Will Biden’s Education Secretary Avoid Ideological Battles?

Will Biden’s Education Secretary Avoid Ideological Battles?
By James Baresel

No sooner had United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued new Title IX regulations for the handling of sexual assault and harassment allegations by colleges and universities this past May than Joe Biden pledged a reversal of policy—claiming that restoring the presumption of innocence and mandating opportunities for cross examination of accusers would “shame and silence survivors.” Whether or not due process will come under renewed assault now largely depends on the man Biden has chosen as DeVos’s replacement, Miguel Cardona.

A former public school teacher and administrator who became Connecticut’s Educational Commissioner in 2019, Cardona has yet to take public stances on most contentious issues, Title IX included. His record, however, suggests a man who, though disconcerting enough, is about as tolerable as any Biden might have appointed. The bad news is that he seems to embrace the usual leftist laundry list of policies and “causes.” The good news? Strong indications that they are not his real priorities. One cause for concern is Cardona’s promotion of the narrative claiming certain segments of the population constitute “victim groups” that are habitually mistreated by “privileged” ones. Though the context in which he did so concerned racial issues rather than women or sexual assault, a certain mindset approaches these various matters in the same way. “Victim groups” (women or racial minorities) are given the strong benefit of the doubt. The “privileged” (men or white people) are treated as guilty until proven innocent.

That Cardona shares such presuppositions is suggested by his reference to “several tragic, high profile and disturbing acts of violence against people of color at the hands of police.”

Aside from George Floyd’s death, fuller investigation into such cases has generally shown narratives based in anti-police prejudice to be false. Even those officers not fully exonerated by the evidence have tended to be guilty of no more than poor reactions to tense situations created by their alleged victims. In other cases the final evidence has been inconclusive. For a man who promotes a “guilty until proven innocent” narrative to an entire state’s public school system to be charged with the administration of justice under Title IX can only be cause for concern.

Concern is also raised by Cardona’s promotion of the theory of “microaggressions.” The question is not so much what Cardona believes to constitute harassment as the potential consequences of broader attitudes he has attempted to inculcate. If students come to believe that making a “fake-smile” while “our body language says we’d rather be somewhere else” can be a “microaggression” they can be depended upon to allege sexual harassment when others’ behavior can be (artificially) construed as “insufficiently” avoiding the slightest hints of unwanted romantic or sexual attention.

As already mentioned, however, Cardona does seem to be primarily concerned with educating children rather than pushing ideological agendas. Continuing the policy he pursued in Connecticut, the first task he has assigned himself in his new role is reopening schools that have continued using online learning to control the spread of Covid. This does not just indicate his real priorities. It also suggests a man willing to buck party lines for the good of children and a realist willing to accept dangers, risks and imperfections.

Further evidence that Cardona’s ideological orientation might not be central to his new work comes from the Center for Education Reform. A conservative organization devoted to reducing federal influence on schools, the Center praised him for expressing “understanding about the importance of options and of communities making decisions for their own unique circumstances.”

Such dispositions could take the edge off implementation of Biden’s agenda. A man focused on getting students back into classrooms probably won’t be in a rush to alter Title IX regulations, a process that could take years to complete. And he could bring moderation to the latter issue rather than see it become a partisan quagmire that, each new administration revising regulations at the cost of time and effort that could be focused on education efforts.

Taken as a whole, Cardona has the potential to follow somewhat moderate courses. Finding areas of agreement that allow for bipartisan cooperation could help him to develop respect for and goodwill towards more conservative individuals and interest groups. Work on time consuming common projects might leave him putting more contentious matters on the back burner. Reopening of schools provides an issue on which conservatives and libertarians can ally with Cardona. Left-wing Covid alarmists might alienate him.

Fighting the new education secretary might become necessary. But since some ideologues will be doing their best to drag him into their combative camp, it would be best to find ways of enticing him towards moderation rather than pushing him into their arms.


Department of Education Department of Justice Law & Justice Legal Title IX

Biden faces Title IX battle complicated by politics and his own history

A Long and Complicated Road Ahead
Improving how colleges respond to sexual assault on campus is one of President Biden’s top priorities. But it’s likely to be an uphill battle

By Greta Anderson, January 22, 2021

Joe Biden entered the White House this week with high and wide-ranging expectations from higher education leaders, advocates for survivors of sexual violence and students for how his new administration will require colleges to handle and reduce sexual assault on college campuses.

In addition to addressing the public health and economic consequences of the pandemic, supporting the ongoing movement for social justice and equity for Black Americans, and trying to unite a politically polarized population, President Biden has also promised to strengthen Title IX, the law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded institutions, which mandates how colleges should respond to student reports of sexual misconduct.

Through his time as a senator and vice president, violence against women and the prevalence of sexual assault has remained a “signature issue” and something the president “cares deeply about,” said Shep Melnick, a professor of political science at Boston College and author The Transformation of Title IX: Regulating Gender Equality in Education (Brookings, 2018).

Melnick noted that Biden was a “major factor” in the Obama administration’s emphasis on reducing campus sexual assault. As vice president during that eight-year period, Biden led the administration’s It’s On Us campaign and visited colleges to promote awareness of the problem and advocate for prevention strategies, such as bystander intervention, or encouraging and training students, particularly young men, to intervene when they see a classmate in a dangerous situation. He wrote the 1990 Violence Against Women Act, which aimed to protect women from gender-based violence.

Aya Gruber, a law professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who writes about feminism and the criminal justice system, recalled when Biden said, “If a man raised his hand to a woman, you had the job to kick the living crap out of him,” during a White House event promoting men’s involvement in the fight against campus sexual assault.

Protecting women and strongly punishing those who commit sexual violence is “part of Biden’s brand,” Gruber said. His past rhetoric and policy positions on campus sexual assault offer some idea of how Biden’s Department of Education will address the issue. He has so far vowed to “immediately” put an end to the Title IX regulations issued by former secretary of education Betsy DeVos, which dramatically shifted how colleges respond to allegations of sexual misconduct.

The DeVos regulations were incessantly criticized and challenged in court by advocates for survivors of sexual assault, who took issue with mandates for colleges to require students who are opposing parties in sexual misconduct cases to be cross-examined by a third party “advocate” at campus hearings for sexual assault investigations. The regulations also exclude sexual misconduct that occurs off campus from oversight under Title IX and apply a more limited definition of sexual harassment.

Several women’s groups and organizations that support survivors’ rights, such as the advocacy group Know Your IX, want the DeVos regulations gone. They say students who are sexually assaulted or harassed were better off under the 2011 Title IX guidance issued by the Obama administration, when institutions were advised to investigate and adjudicate all reports of sexual misconduct, “regardless of where the conduct occurred.” The guidance, commonly referred to as the 2011 Dear Colleague letter, said that a single incident of sexual harassment could prompt a Title IX investigation and that institutions must use a preponderance of the evidence standard when determining a student or staff member’s guilt.

DeVos rescinded the 2011 guidance during her first months as education secretary in 2017. Biden has pledged to reinstate it. His plan to address violence against women published online says his administration will “restore” the 2011 guidance that “outlined for schools how to fairly conduct Title IX proceedings.”

Biden’s campaign website, which details his agenda for women’s issues, says the Education Department under DeVos has “rolled back the clock and given colleges a green light to ignore sexual violence and strip survivors of their civil rights under Title IX, guaranteeing that college campuses will be less safe for our nation’s young people.”

His administration will “stand on the side of survivors, who deserve to have their voices heard, their claims taken seriously and investigated, and their rights upheld,” the comments on the website say.

Civil liberties groups and advocates for the rights of students accused of sexual misconduct are dismayed by Biden’s stated intention to reinstate the 2011 guidance. They argue that the guidance led to colleges violating free speech and due process rights. Supporters of the DeVos regulations, such as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and SAVE, a Washington, D.C., area-based organization that advocates for constitutional protections during college disciplinary proceedings, say the 2011 guidance was grossly unfair.

Edward Bartlett, founder and president of SAVE, said the 2011 guidance was ineffective at reducing sexual misconduct and infringed on student rights. He said the hundreds of federal and state lawsuits filed after the issuance of the 2011 letter prove it did not help those who report sexual misconduct or those accused of it, he said.

Bartlett noted that a Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct by the Association of American Universities found a slight uptick in rates of sexual assault at top colleges between 2015 and 2019, and reporting of incidents remained low throughout this time period. Two surveys were conducted, one in 2015, which involved 27 colleges, and another in 2019, in which 33 colleges participated. The 2019 survey found the overall rate of sexual assault was 13 percent for all students and nearly 26 percent for women undergraduates at those colleges, according to an AAU report about the data. There was a 3 percent increase in the rate of sexual assault among undergraduate women between 2015 and 2019 at the colleges that participated in the surveys, the AAU report said.

“Not only did they find no improvement, they found it got worse,” Bartlett said.

Melnick, the Boston College professor, said the AAU survey and other data available about the prevalence of campus sexual assault are not strong enough to conclude whether or not the 2011 guidance was effective. There isn’t any empirical evidence that suggests that Title IX guidance issued during the Obama administration made the issue worse, he said. But if the Biden administration intends to revert to the former guidance, it may soon have to provide data to support that decision, Melnick said.

“The current debate over evidence — inconclusive as it is — will loom larger in the future,” he said in an email.

In the years since the guidance, several federal appeals courts have also struck down parts of the Title IX processes that many colleges developed following the Obama administration’s guidelines, deeming them “unfair” and sometimes discriminatory against men.

Experts who study Title IX and advise institutions on how to implement the law said colleges would be better off if the Department of Education takes a forward-looking approach to combating campus sexual misconduct rather than reverting to the 2011 guidance.

Jake Sapp, a Title IX legal researcher for the Stetson University Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy, said court decisions that favored students accused of sexual misconduct were a direct response to the 2011 guidance, which didn’t set clear standards for due process.

The DeVos regulations rely heavily on these federal court opinions and went through a formal rule-making process that can’t simply be revoked, as some advocacy groups for sexual assault survivors are urging Biden to do, Sapp said. Even the most contested item in the DeVos regulations — the cross-examination requirement — has been backed by several appeals court decisions and will be applicable to colleges in those judicial circuits even if the Biden administration stops enforcing the regulations, he said.

“The administration can set a regulatory floor, but they can’t build a roof over what the court’s jurisdiction is,” he said. “They can’t say colleges can’t provide this due process protection when a federal court says that you already have to have that.”

Sage Carson, manager of Know Your IX, endorses halting enforcement of the DeVos regulations, but she said the challenges student survivors face have changed significantly in the decade since the 2011 guidance was issued and returning to it isn’t going to effectively address those new challenges.

“Survivors on campus are facing horrendous obstacles to getting support from their school that are nothing like the Obama administration was dealing with,” Carson said. “My fear is that the Biden administration will come in and say, ‘We’ve dealt with this issue before, we know how to do this,’ and not take the time to understand the needs of students right now in this unique moment.”

Carson described obstacles such as a “huge uptick” in students accused of sexual assault filing retaliatory countercomplaints or defamation lawsuits against their accusers. These actions can mean survivors do not receive the support they need from their college or end up in debt from legal fees, she said.

Colleges and students have also been through bouts of “whiplash” as they’ve had to make policy adjustments based on the political positions of the president in office, Carson said. Some institutions have been consistently “awful” on protecting students from sexual misconduct, but other institutions attempted to comply with the Trump administration’s requirements and experienced “confusion, frustration and a lack of resources,” Carson said.

The lack of clarity and conflicting policies and rhetoric has frustrated students and discouraged some from filing sexual misconduct reports, she said.

“There will be schools that are strained by this back-and-forth,” she said. “To restore confidence in survivors turning to their schools, this administration is going to have to be very transparent about what students can expect … This is going to be a tough, uphill battle.”

Peter McDonough, vice president and general counsel for the American Council on Education, said college administrators recognize that their institutions can’t simply go back to the 2011 guidance. There are new decisions by federal courts that many institutions must follow, new state laws that change how campuses respond to sexual misconduct and resolution agreements between the Education Department and individual colleges that outline how those colleges must improve their Title IX policies and procedures, McDonough said. The DeVos regulations are just one piece of the puzzle, and eliminating them doesn’t change how colleges must deal with sexual misconduct moving forward, he said.

College officials would appreciate “more flexibility” from the Biden administration — such as guidance that loosens some requirements of the DeVos regulations — but they also spent months pouring time and energy into adjusting their policies to meet the new standards during the coronavirus pandemic, McDonough said.

“We’re tired,” he said. “Don’t give us one more thing to do this academic year. Let us get our students back to as close as we can to normal.”

The Biden administration should begin the work of creating new Title IX regulations that strike a balance for all sides, including those who experience sexual assault, those accused of it and the college officials that are legally responsible for carrying out the procedures, McDonough said. What college officials are hoping for is a “thoughtful” look at how to amend or replace the DeVos regulations with what all sides feel is the fairest possible process, he said.

“Otherwise we’re going to boomerang for years,” McDonough said. “How are we going to get ourselves, as a broad community, to a place where we feel like what we’ve got is pretty fair? That rhetorical question needs to guide a fair amount of the decision making in this next administration.”

Sapp, who is also deputy Title IX coordinator at Austin College in Sherman, Tex., said Biden and the Education Department officials working under him should not focus on rhetoric painting the DeVos regulations as an “attack on survivors” and listen to more than just one line of thought on the issue. Sapp believes the DeVos regulations are a “good starting point” for Biden to build on, but that the politics surrounding them will deter Biden from publicly recognizing that.

“Part of what Biden has demonstrated is that he’s open to diversity of ideas and thought,” Sapp said. “That needs to be demonstrated in the ideas that he has on Title IX … If you’re going to put forward a Title IX regulation that’s going to stand the test of time, it’s going to have to have input from across the board.”

Gruber, the University of Colorado law professor, is not convinced there can be a compromise on Title IX.

“Whatever he does, somebody’s not going to be happy,” she said.

The Biden administration’s path to well-received Title IX requirements is further complicated by outstanding allegations of sexual misconduct against Biden. Some student leaders of college sexual assault prevention groups said the allegations made them feel conflicted about voting for Biden in November, which they felt they had to do in order to reverse the Trump administration’s actions on Title IX. But Carson, of Know Your IX, said that she and other survivors have not forgotten the story of Tara Reade, the woman who said she was sexually assaulted by Biden in 1993, and others who said he inappropriately touched them.

“That’s something that our team is grappling with every day as we approach this administration,” Carson said. “That’s something we’re going to remember moving forward. We should always be supporting equity and supporting survivors, not just when it’s convenient.”

Biden faces Title IX battle complicated by politics and his own history (

Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Start By Believing Trauma Informed Victim-Centered Investigations

One-Third of Wrongful Convictions Involve Police Manipulation of Evidence

One-Third of Wrongful Convictions Involve Police Manipulation of Evidence. With ‘Victim-Centered’ Investigations, It May Get Worse.

Center for Prosecutor Integrity

January 21, 2021

The National Registry of Exonerations has catalogued every exoneration in the United States since 1989. Recently the NRE published a report on the long-standing problem of police misconduct. Titled, “Government Misconduct and Convicting the Innocent,” the document is based on the review of 2,400 exonerations (1). Overall, the analysis found that 35% of the cases involved police officer misconduct and 30% implicated prosecutorial misconduct.

The document reveals that police actions that lead to a conviction of an innocent person typically involve the manipulation of evidence in order to increase the likelihood of a conviction. The manipulation of evidence by police officers falls into five categories (some cases fell into more than one category):

  1. Witness Tampering — 13% of wrongful convictions
  • Procuring false testimony — Inducing a civilian witness to testify to facts the officer knows the witness did not perceive (3% of wrongful convictions)
  • Tainted identifications – Deliberately inducing a witness to identify a suspect during a lineup, whether the witness recognizes that suspect or not (7% of wrongful convictions)
  • Improper questioning of a child victim – Repeated, insistent, and suggestive questioning of a child, precluding the child from denying that he or she was a victim of sex abuse (3% of wrongful convictions)
  1. Misconduct in Interrogations – 7% of wrongful convictions
  • Actual or threatened violence
  • Sham plea bargaining and other lies about the law
  • Threats to relatives and other third parties
  1. Fabricating Evidence – 10% of wrongful convictions
  • Fake crimes – Making false claims as ordinary lay witnesses, saying the defendant committed a crime that never happened, often involving the planting of contraband (5% of wrongful convictions)
  • Forensic fraud – Presenting false evidence against the defendant, concealing/distorting true evidence that might have cleared them, or planting false evidence (3% of wrongful convictions)
  • Fabricated confessions – Making up confessions by the defendants that in fact did not occur (2% of wrongful convictions)
  1. Concealing Exculpatory Evidence – 7% of wrongful convictions
  • Impeachment of prosecution witnesses:
    • Incentives provided to testify
    • Inconsistent statements
    • Criminal records and histories of dishonesty
  • Substantive evidence of innocence:
    • Forensic tests
    • Alternative suspects
    • Evidence that the defendant did not commit the crime
  1. Perjury at Trial – 13% of wrongful convictions
  • False statements about the conduct of investigations
  • False statements about witness statements

Overall, there were only small differences in percentages of official misconduct for White versus Black exonerees. But for murder cases, 78% of Black exonerees, compared to 64% of White exonerees, experienced official misconduct. The misconduct disparity was even greater for drug crimes: 47% among Blacks and 22% for Whites.

As noted above, misconduct by police officers contributed to 35% of the 2,400 wrongful convictions. The NRE report reveals that virtually all of the cases consisted of actions designed to manipulate the evidence to increase the likelihood of a conviction. A majority of the cases involved the direct manipulation of evidence – fabricating and concealing evidence, and making false statements at trial. The remaining minority of cases involved the indirect manipulation of evidence by means of witness tampering and misconduct in interrogations.

What are prospects for the future?

In recent years, activists have been promoting the use of so-called “victim-centered” approaches, both in the criminal justice system and on college campuses. A recent announcement from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, for example, makes the claim that “victim-centered” approaches “can support victim recovery and engagement with the criminal justice system” and “promote enhanced victim and community safety while helping law enforcement solve and prevent crime.” (2)

Despite the feel-good aura of this gauzy description, the reality of “victim-centered” approaches is that they compromise investigative impartiality, bias evidence against the defendant, and predispose to wrongful convictions. Victim-centered methods (3):

  • Presume the guilt of the defendant and refer to the complainant as a “victim”
  • Avoid asking probing or detailed questions in order to not “retraumatize the victim.”
  • Reflexively attribute inconsistencies in the complainant’s statements to life-threatening trauma.
  • “Cherry-pick” the evidence in order to increase the likelihood of a finding of guilt.
  • Write the investigative report in a way to portray the sexual contact as non-consensual.

One Department of Justice report, “Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence,” went so far as to urge victim-centered investigations to hand “control of the process back to the victim” (p. 9) and even allow the complainant “to request certain investigative steps not be conducted” (p. 13). (4)  The ill-considered report was later removed without explanation or notice. The original DOJ press release with the defunct link can still be seen online (5).

If we want to curb the police manipulation of evidence and ensuing wrongful convictions, we need to discourage the use of “victim-centered” approaches, and work to restore police investigations that are impartial, balanced, and fair (6).


Title IX Title IX Equity Project

PR: New ED Directive Says Universities Must End Sex-Discriminatory Scholarships and Programs


Contact: Rebecca Stewart

Telephone: 513-479-3335


New ED Directive Says Universities Must End Sex-Discriminatory Scholarships and Programs

WASHINGTON / January 18, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has just released a new guidance that clarifies the Title IX ban on school scholarships and programs that discriminate on the basis of sex (1). The document, titled, “Questions and Answers Regarding OCR’s Interpretation of Title IX and Single Sex Scholarships, Clubs, and other Programs,” was released on Thursday.

The directive affirms the general principle that colleges should not impose sex-based preferences or restrictions, stating “a school may not administer scholarships, fellowships or other forms of financial assistance that impose a preference or restriction on the basis of sex, with limited exceptions.” (Question 3)

The document goes on to clarify that colleges generally may not:

  • Use a program title or description that implies a preference or restriction based on sex, such as the “Center for Women and Gender Equity Non-Traditional Scholarship” (Question 5)
  • Advertise or promote third-party scholarships, fellowships, or other forms of financial assistance that impose a sex-based preference or restriction (Question 6)
  • Separate or exclude individuals on the basis of sex from academic or extracurricular activities, with the exceptions of programs involving contact sports, ability grouping in physical education classes, and choruses. (Question 10)
  • Allow a school-recognized club or other program use a name that implies a sex-based preference or restriction, such as a student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (Question 11)

The guidance states that a university may offer sex-specific financial assistance as part of a remedial action effort, but only if the school is able to “clearly articulate why the particular sex-based scholarship or program was necessary to overcome the conditions in its own education program or activity which resulted in limited participation.” (Question 4)

In anticipation of the new directive, George Washington University ordered 23 student groups to amend their constitutions to comply with the school’s nondiscrimination policy. These groups include Girls Who Code and female-only service groups (2).

Over the past two years, the SAVE Title IX Equity Project has reviewed the websites of 346 universities and colleges in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to identify illegal sex-specific scholarships. Overall, the review found that 68.5% of universities offered scholarships that discriminate against male students (3).

The Office for Civil Rights currently has 228 investigations underway to remedy these Title IX violations (4). A number of the institutions already have removed their discriminatory programs and scholarships (5).


Department of Education Department of Justice Discrimination Law & Justice Legal Office for Civil Rights Title IX

Department of Education says schools can’t use ‘national statistics’ to justify women-only scholarships, programs


Don’t give ‘special status’ to outside groups with sex restrictions, either

Largely thanks to the efforts of University of Michigan-Flint economist Mark Perry, schools across the country are facing scrutiny from the Department for Education for offering programs and scholarships that exclude males from eligibility.

His flurry of Title IX complaints indisputably played a significant role in its Office for Civil Rights’ creation of two new “issue codes” last year to track complaints against “single sex campus programs” and “single sex scholarships.”

On Thursday, the Office for Civil Rights went a step further by releasing “technical assistance” on its interpretation of Title IX with respect to such programs and scholarships.

Much of the material is not new to people who follow Title IX complaints and resolutions, and the document explicitly tells institutions that it does not have “the force and effect of law” and is “not meant to bind the public or regulated entities in any way.” (The Obama administration, by contrast, explicitly threatened institutions for not following its nonbinding Title IX guidance.)

But for K-12 schools and colleges that have long acted as if Title IX didn’t apply to activities with the word “girls” in the title, and depictions of only females in their materials, the 11-page document makes plain that it does.

One of the most popular reasons for offering a female-only program or scholarship – supposed underrepresentation – is severely restricted under the feds’ interpretation.

While they can restrict eligibility by sex for “remedial or affirmative action” in “limited circumstances,” schools are still prohibited from using “sex-based quotas.” Even more sweeping, they cannot “rely on national statistics as evidence of limited participation.”

Rather, schools must “clearly articulate why the particular sex-based scholarship or program was necessary to overcome the conditions in its own education program or activity which resulted in limited participation therein“:

As part of this analysis, OCR evaluates whether the classification based on sex was supported by an “exceedingly persuasive justification,” based on a substantial relationship between the classification and an important governmental or educational objective.

Schools targeted with complaints will have to provide “a specific assessment of the facts and circumstances surrounding the scholarship or other program” to OCR. The office will analyze whether the “purported remedial discrimination” has any relation to “overcoming the effects of those conditions.”

It flatly warns schools that their sex-based scholarships justified as affirmative action “may never rely on overbroad generalizations about the different talents, capacities, or preferences of males and females.”

Schools should also be wary of titles for scholarships and programs that are “reasonably perceived” as stating a “preference or restriction” based on sex. Otherwise they must “clearly state in their public-facing communications,” such as websites and recruiting materials, that such preference or restriction does not exist, despite the title.

OCR notes that it has reviewed scholarship applications and “awardee data, disaggregated by sex,” to discern whether schools have “communicated effectively” about their nondiscrimination policies.

Several sections in the question-and-answer format are answered “Generally, no” on the appropriateness of sex preferences and restrictions. One of them is whether schools can even advertise or promote third-party scholarships, such as by listing them on its website:

OCR expects that schools will take reasonable steps to verify that the sponsoring organization’s or person’s rules for determining awards do not, expressly or in fact, discriminate on the basis sex.

The guidance also cautions schools about providing “significant assistance” to third parties that offer “non-funded” advancement programs, such as fellowships, with sex preferences or restrictions.

Such assistance has historically been interpreted to include giving third parties “special status or privileges” not offered to “all community organizations,” such as by designating faculty sponsors or letting parties use campus facilities “at less than fair market value.” Simply listing a non-funded program on its website, however, is not “significant assistance.”

Some of the guidance is highly nuanced, particularly with respect to elementary and secondary schools. But other parts are direct and unambiguous, such as the section on sex-based restrictions on school facilities:

OCR has opened an investigation into whether a university that offered a designated “women’s only” workout space in its gym facilities violated Title IX by restricting that space to members of only one sex.

Read the guidance.

Department of Education says schools can’t use ‘national statistics’ to justify women-only scholarships, programs | The College Fix

Trauma Informed Wrongful Convictions

Trauma-Informed: A Cancer on Our Nation’s Legal System


January 14, 2021

In recent years, a trendy new investigative approach has been pushed both on college campuses and in the criminal justice system. Called “Trauma-informed,” it claims that sexual assault and domestic violence victims are so traumatized by the experience that they are unable to provide a coherent account of the assault.

Which means that every allegation must be taken at face value as truthful, and investigators are not supposed to challenge or question their statements. And every complainant is called a “victim.”

But “trauma-informed” is factually dishonest, because researchers have found that victims of trauma often have an enhanced recall of the details of the event. “Trauma-informed” ideology also eliminates the presumption of innocence, and turns investigators into therapists and social workers. This leads to wrongful findings of guilt.

Nonetheless, trauma-informed activists continue to push forward. Recently the International Association of Chiefs of Police issued a solicitation to do trauma-informed training, making the misleading claim that, “Victim-centered, trauma-informed approaches to crime can support victim recovery and engagement with the criminal justice system.”

Let’s all speak out on the dishonesty behind the “trauma-informed” movement. Contact the IACP and let them know what you think. Here’s the link:

Please try to be polite.

Campus Department of Education Sexual Assault Title IX

Title IX Has Turned Universities Into Really Terrible Sex Police


Title IX feminists seek to abuse the federal access law to institute policies that favor women — including inverting the presumption of innocence.

A Biden administration spells more controversy about Title IX, the federal equal access law that bans sex discrimination in schools receiving federal funds, but now used to address sexual misconduct — including allegations of criminal conduct like sexual assault and rape (variously defined). The theory is that such behaviors threaten access to education.

Democrats want to seem tough on sexual assault, of course, and Title IX is the tool, even as Joe Biden has dodged Tara Reade’s accusations that he once sexually assaulted her and has pledged to reverse former Title IX regulations put in place by President Barack Obama.

Almost every educational institution now has a Title IX office. Last year the National Association of Scholars visited a number of them, documented in a recently released report, “Dear Colleague.” It presents conversations with staff and analyses of institutional policies on discrimination and sexual harassment at six state universities.

It’s safe to say that Title IX is now unrecognizable as an equal access law in education. Instead, it is a sex monitoring and sex promotion law with the staff especially focused on (and arguably happy about) student sexual encounters gone bad, as their chance to meddle.

Office waiting areas featured pamphlets from Planned Parenthood, among others, with quotes like, “I didn’t want it to happen,” “I haven’t been hit…” and bowls of condoms with flyers explaining, “What is a flavored condom used for? If something is flavored, it’s meant to be tasted!” Partner offices include student health centers, many with counselors who explain matter-of-factly, “here, we’re all about student autonomy and pleasure, whether you’re a person with a penis or a vagina.”

Staffers who deal with Title IX are primarily comprised of females, most with degrees in women’s studies or gender-based violence. What’s more, of the 52 officials surveyed, only one had any actual courtroom experience where allegations of serious wrongdoing are routine. Yet one Title IX coordinator confirmed that most of her time is spent processing just such allegations of sexual misconduct. Unsurprisingly, students now call Title IX “the campus sex police.”

Students also say that the Title IX office violates the law in its rush to seek, find, and punish sex offenders. Accused students report that “fabricated evidence was withheld from me until the very last minute,” and that staff is trained to “presume guilt” in violation of due process basics. Some 600 students have sued their schools claiming that campus Title IX proceedings are, in essence, kangaroo courts.

To the credit of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, she tackled this sticky wicket — not with informal guidance, as prior administrations had done, but with formal regulations according to the Administrative Procedure Act. This effort took three years and involved over 125,000 public comments. It culminated in the Title IX Final Rule, issued in May 2020, whose provisions turned out to be quite common sense and, in real courtrooms, would be every-day fare.

They require schools to presume innocence, for example, and to disclose all evidence and to allow live cross-examination through student representatives. Furthermore, if requested, these cross-examinations can take place in separate rooms so as to mitigate any trauma that face-to-face questioning might cause. Other supportive measures such as counseling, deadline extensions, and flexibility for schedules, work, and housing are required for all complainants.

Even so, Title IX feminists complained. “DeVos … is protecting attackers from being held accountable!” said one consultant. Indeed, they sued DeVos in federal court, alleging the Final Rule violated the APA, among other things. Such claims were defeated in Maryland and New York but remain pending in DC and Massachusetts.

What now? Chances are that one or both remaining courts will issue opinions on the final rule before a new administration can take any formal action. But a Biden Education Department may announce its intention to not enforce the rule, or its intention to start the rule-making process all over again to rescind it.

In any event, the reality is that Title IX practice is now a confused, even dangerous mess. It became so because some people wanted it that way.

For starters, Title IX was enacted as a civil rights law and was never intended to address crimes, especially violent ones such as rape and assault. Additionally, the words “assault” and “rape” have been re-defined at many schools to mean a sexual encounter where one party thought there was consent, but the other claims there wasn’t. Worse, 95 percent of these cases involve alcohol, according to Title IX staff, making both perceptions and memories foggy.

Many schools now have “affirmative consent” policies where explicit, verbal affirmation is to be obtained at every stage of sexual intimacy or the encounter constitutes assault, a standard repeatedly rejected by the American Bar Association. Many such incidents are about misunderstandings, not discrimination, and certainly not criminality. Yet Title IX administration has now effectively branded many students as criminals.

Second, allegations like these are a matter of state criminal law, not a federal law like Title IX, much less a matter of campus administration that varies from school to school. While far from perfect, our criminal justice system represents centuries of balancing the rights of the accused against those of the complainant and the public.

The rights contained in due process, for example, date to the Magna Carta of 1215, ensuring that even lowly subjects (now, citizens) had natural rights that even kings (now, the government) must respect. That Title IX feminists, however, felt free to sweep all this away by creating a parallel, quasi-criminal justice system on campus speaks volumes.

The real, unstated story behind Title IX is the mindset of these feminists. In essence, they’re angry at the biological females are at greater health risk from unmarried sex. Pregnancy is another possibility, of course, that obviously affects females more than males.

Title IX feminists see this reality as inherently unfair and, to their mind, it should be “fixed” by policies that favor women — including the inversion of the centuries-old presumption of innocence in cases of sexual misunderstanding. So what if a few guys get railroaded in the process? It’s a small price to pay back for millennia of imagined injustice inflicted by biological reality.

Of course, anger at reality is a truly foolish and unproductive way to go through life, and no amount of policy is ever going to satisfy or “fix” it. Let’s hope the new Title IX Rule survives and that campus Title IX offices return their focus to equal access in education instead of social engineering between the sexes. Our divided country could use it.


Teresa R. Manning, JD, is Director of the Title IX Project at the National Association of Scholars. She has taught at Scalia Law School of George Mason University, the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College, and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services in the Trump Administration.

Title IX Has Turned Universities Into Really Terrible Sex Police (

Investigations Law & Justice Sexual Assault Trauma Informed

The Metastasizing Cancer of Trauma-Informed Justice

Sunday 10 January 2021
by Wendy McElroy

“Trauma-informed Justice” has percolated in academia and activism for decades. It is now knocking on the door of local police departments to demand changes that could upend the basics of how people relate to law enforcement. The approach converts the police into social workers or therapists and erases the due process upon which traditional Western justice hinges. It also increases the odds of wrongful convictions.

Trauma-informed justice—sometimes called “victim-centered” justice—involves an interview methodology in which the police prioritize empathy for an accuser who is automatically considered to be a victim. Rooted in trauma-informed feminist therapy of the 1960s, the methodology is especially favored for allegations of sexual abuse, such as domestic violence, where the accusers who come forward are overwhelmingly female. The methodology was refined by Russell Strand, U.S. Military Police School, who offered the Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI) as a way to question presumed victims without making them relive an assault.

According to trauma-informed trainers, the police should conduct investigations according to three broad principles.

The accuser is automatically assumed to be a victim even before any verification process occurs; the accused is automatically assumed to be guilty based on nothing more than an allegation. This dynamic reflects a core belief of the #Metoo movement: “Believe All Women.” The leading proponent of the trauma-informed approach is the End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) group which argues that “believing” accusers “is the starting point for a fair and thorough investigation.” If EVAWI is taken literally, however, then further investigation seems to be unnecessary. An accusation is proof of guilt is grounds for conviction. Why investigate?
Contradictions, memory gaps, and inconsistencies in an accuser’s testimony are symptoms of deep trauma and should not be seen as disprobative. A much-quoted guide to trauma-informed justice states, “Trauma victims often omit, exaggerate, or make up information when trying to make sense of what happened to them or to fill gaps in memory.” The true flaw in the process is said to be the police department’s approach which depends on what is called “peripheral information”–for example, a suspect’s description and the time or place of an alleged attack. Instead, the police should focus on eliciting non-linear information from the accuser by establishing trust and interpreting her memories.
Factors that cast doubt on the allegation, such as an accuser’s history of false allegations or drug use, are not to be considered. This creates an enormous problem if the case goes to trial, of course. The Arizona Governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women issued a letter to Arizona’s criminal justice agencies to explain, “In cases that proceed to trial, defense counsel likely could impugn investigators and claim that alternative versions of the crime were ignored and/or errors were made during the investigation as a result of confirmation bias created by the ‘belief’ element of the Start By Believing campaign.”

Trauma-informed advocates abandon the ethical code of conduct spelled out by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Article 10, Presentation of Evidence states, “The law enforcement officer shall be concerned equally in the prosecution of the wrong-doer and the defense of the innocent. He shall ascertain what constitutes evidence and shall present such evidence impartially and without malice.” By this standard, everyone and their testimonies are to be treated equally.

Trauma-informed justice destroys the due process upon which Western criminal justice rests. The central principle of due process: an accused is innocent until proven guilty either by a standard of “clear and convincing evidence” or “beyond a reasonable doubt.” There must be proof before there is guilt and, as a matter of logic if not of justice, the accuser bears the burden of proof because she is the one making an affirmative statement. Start by Believing inverts this principle and logic, eliminating Western justice in the process.

Unfortunately, the trauma-informed approach is gaining momentum with training courses for law enforcement seeming to spring up everywhere. Most are held at universities where trauma-informed procedures have dominated Title IX investigations for the last decade; these investigations address allegations of sexual misconduct on campus and a “believe the women” ideology dominates. The spread of FETI is yet another instance of social-justice policies spilling from campuses out onto Main Street.

Other factors contribute to the spread. A revolution in how law enforcement is perceived has occurred, with “Defund the Police!” being one of the loudest aspects. A righteous indignation at police brutality and immunity is fueling a rebellion against the status quo of law enforcement. Trauma-informed justice also grows because it is still grassroots; activists go directly to law enforcement agencies. This makes it largely invisible in the media and to the public from which it encounters little resistance.

This needs to change. Trauma-informed justice must be opposed on three grounds: ethically, on the science, and on practicality.

The ethical case against trauma-informed justice has been made already: it introduces systemic bias into what should be an evidence-based, honest, and impartial process; it embeds unequal treatment under the law; it increases the likelihood of false convictions. It is unfair.

The increased likelihood of false convictions needs to be stressed because the trauma and tragedy of false convictions is often ignored or diminished. This will proliferate because trauma-informed politics encourages law enforcement to become de facto advocates for an accuser and presume the guilt of an accused.

A commonly stated goal of the trauma-informed approach is to secure a “successful prosecution”, which refers to securing a conviction but makes no comment on whether the defendant may be innocent. After all, Start by Believing declares all accuseds to be immediately and automatically guilty, which obviates the need to discuss their possible innocence. When the police pre-emptively decide that an accused is guilty, research shows what common sense suspects. The police look for supporting evidence and tend to dismiss counter information due to confirmation bias. Again, wrongful convictions become more likely, especially since EVAWI instructs investigators on how to assist prosecutors in countering “potential defense strategies.”

Another reason trauma-informed justice gains ground: law enforcement is asked to listen “to the science.” The science of traumatized people remembering events in a disjointed or inconsistent manner is presented as “settled.” This is not true. Unbiased studies contradict trauma-informed claims. Daniel Reisberg’s “Emotion’s (Varied) Impact on Memory for Sexual Misconduct” found, for example, “These data suggest that traumatic events are likely to be well remembered.” At bare minimum, the nature of traumatized memories is a matter for vigorous debate and untested ideology-based theories should not be fixed into policy.

The current standard police procedure is called the Reid method. It has three steps: factual analysis, interviewing, and interrogation. The factual analysis eliminates suspects and develops leads. Interviewing elicits investigative and behavioral information through non-accusatory dialogue with accusers, suspects, and witnesses; the interview has nine well-defined stages. Interrogation involves subjecting a confirmed suspect to accusations in which the investigator claims to know the person is guilty and angles for a confession. Police investigations may be imperfect but they have been tested and streamlined by time, with legal challenges providing protections to those being questioned.

In its “Report on the Use of the Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI) Technique” (2015), the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations summarized its reluctance to replace an established protocol with trauma-informed techniques. “We believe it would be inappropriate and irresponsible to discontinue the use of a robust, well-studied, effective, and empirically-validated interviewing method that is supported by the latest scientific research (the Cognitive Interview), in favor of an interviewing method that is loosely-constructed, is based on flawed science, makes unfounded claims about its effectiveness, and has never once been tested, studied, researched or validated.”

Social workers and therapists may need to Start By Believing the person they seek to heal. But the police are not mental health workers; they deal in cold, hard facts that have no gender or race. Investigators need to discern what is true or false about a situation rather than respond emotionally to it. In the process, some officers make mistakes and some act with malice; officers are human beings with all the flaws of shared humanity. The incompetence or malfeasance of individuals must be remedied but neither one is an indictment of the principles of Western justice. Turning accusations into convictions only makes prisoners of innocent people.

Content / Editorials / The Metastasizing Cancer of Trauma-Informed Justice –

Discrimination Title IX

The year in review: An update on my efforts to challenge Title IX violations in higher education and advance civil rights for all

Blog Post
December 31, 2020
by Mark J. Perry

For the last several years, I’ve been on a one-man mission to challenge the frequent and brazen violations of Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination and Title VI’s prohibition of discrimination based on race and color. As Professor Philip Carl Salzman pointed out recently universities regularly engage in a hypocritical, double standard — “inclusion and equity for females, people of color, LGBTQ++ and Muslims; exclusion and inequity for males, whites, heterosexuals, Christians, Jews, and East Asians.” In the Orwellian tradition that is a central tenet of wokeness, some groups are more equal than others on campus, and Title IX and Title VI are enforced only for the preferred groups and not for unpreferred groups. It’s those frequent, flagrant, and routine violations of federal civil rights laws that have motivated me to file hundreds of Title IX (and some Title VI) complaints against US universities for illegally violating the civil rights of the unpreferred groups. Here’s a summary of civil rights advocacy this year.

1. Complaints. In 2020, I filed 190 Title IX complaints (including some Title VI complaints) with the Office for Civil Rights in which I identified more than 750 violations of Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination at US universities and colleges. That brings the total number of complaints filed to 270 since the fall of 2018 (for more than 1,000 violations), which I think is the greatest number of Title IX complaints ever filed by an individual (call Guinness?). At some universities like Ohio State University, I’ve identified as many as 20 Title IX violations, and I’m sure I haven’t uncovered all of their violations. Complaints for discriminatory, single-sex programs have recently been filed against Michigan State (Women’s Leadership Institute), University of Chicago (Heising-Simons Summer Program, Deborah Jin Fellowship, Elaine K. Bernstein Fellowship for Women in Science and Booth Women Advance), Harvard (Women’s Leadership Initiative), the College of William and Mary (Women’s Leadership Initiative, Women’s Stock Pitch & Leadership Summit and William & Mary Women’s Mentoring), Georgia State (WomenLead at Georgia State University with the preferred pronoun list I posted about here) and West Virginia University (WVU Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) and the M-Power mentorship program for students of color).

2. Investigations. This year, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) opened federal civil rights investigations at 86 universities mostly for single-sex, female-only scholarships and programs based on my Title IX complaints including Harvard, Syracuse University, Johns Hopkins, University of Minnesota, Middlebury College, University of Virginia, Penn State, Wake Forest, Duke, Yale, and UCLA. That brings the total number of federal OCR investigations based on my Title IX complaints to 121 since January 2019. Partly at least because of that unprecedented number of Title IV complaints for single-sex scholarships and programs, the OCR issued the following statement earlier this year:

OCR has implemented two new issue codes under Title IX for cases received in or after January 2020: “single sex campus programs” (discrimination on the basis of sex in campus programs) and “single sex scholarships” (discrimination on the basis of sex in scholarship programs).

It’s probably the case that in the past there were so few (if any) investigations of single-sex campus programs and scholarships (because they were never challenged) that those rare investigations were classified as “Other.” I’ll take the introduction of the two new “issued codes” as a sign of success and an indication that the increasing number of complaints and investigations for single-sex programs and scholarships has gotten the attention of the OCR to the point that it felt that it was necessary to add two new classifications for investigations. It’s also an indication that universities have violated Title IX with impunity for many decades, and have continued to introduce new discriminatory programs because those violations have gone unchallenged until the last few years. Even tenured full professors have been afraid to challenge the woke “diversity-industrial complex” for fear of being canceled, ostracized, and exiled from the academic tribe.

In (weak) defense of some universities, I heard from an OCR attorney that some universities express surprise when notified that they are being investigated for Title IX violations. They’ve been violating federal civil rights laws for so long (multiples decades in many cases for specific programs), and they see so many other universities violating Title IX that violating the civil rights of half of the faculty, staff, and students doesn’t even seem illegal anymore, even to the large and growing staffs of Title IX officers and other diversicrats (e.g., Ohio State University employs more than 100 “diversicrats”). But in the majority of cases, it’s probably more likely that many universities are aware they are violating Title IX, but just do so with impunity because they’ve never been challenged and because illegal preferences for preferred groups (women and non-whites) are part of universities’ woke missions of social justice. So universities are either ignorant of federal civil rights laws or they think they’re above the law. In either case, it’s a pretty sad indictment of higher education today.

It’s especially troubling because every university and college that receives federal financial assistance (which is every university in the country with the few exceptions Hillsdale College and Grove City College) has to regularly certify to the Department of Education that they are enforcing Title IX and Title as a legal condition of continuing to receive taxpayer dollars. Despite those regular certifications, many (most?) universities routinely violate Title IX, and that is what has motivated me to pursue my civil rights advocacy.

3. Resolutions. Over the last year, the following universities corrected their Title IX violations, either pre-emptively once an investigation was opened or as a result of a Voluntary Resolution Agreement with the Office for Civil Rights at the conclusion of an investigation:

  • Vermont Technical College added two equivalent boy-only STEM programs to offset two girl-only STEM programs
  • Clarkson University converted a girl-only STEM program to a coeducational program open to all genders
  • The University of Central Arkansas opened a girl-only STEM program to all genders
  • Highline College (Des Moines, WA) agreed to stop hosting a discriminatory, single-sex, girl-only STEM program
  • Grand Valley State University (MI) agreed to convert a girl-only STEM program to an all-gender program
  • The University of Rhode Island agreed to discontinue a girl-only chemistry camp
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology (Boston) agreed to stop hosting a single-sex, girl-only STEM summit
  • Marietta College (OH) converted an all-girl STEM summer program to a coeducational program open to all genders
  • The Illinois Institute of Technology agreed to discontinue a single-sex, girl-only computer camp
  • Rutgers University opened an all-girl STEM program to all genders
  • The University of Nevada-Reno opened an all-girl program to all genders
  • Rogue Community College (OR) agreed to discontinue an all-girl STEM camp
  • The University of Missouri discontinued an all-girl summer STEM program
  • Kansas State University opened an all-girl program to all genders
  • The University of Central Oklahoma converted a girl-only summer computer forensics program to an all-gender program.
  • Western Washington University agreed to discontinue an all-girl STEM program or convert it to a coeducational program
  • Oregon State University opened five female-only faculty/staff awards to all genders
  • Duke University signed a Voluntary Resolution Agreement with the OCR to either convert three female-only programs to coeducational programs or discontinue those programs
  • The University of California-Berkeley discontinued a single-sex “Women in Science” program
  • Eastern Washington University agreed to discontinue a female-only leadership academy or convert it to a coeducation program.

MP: Given the success I’ve had so far having my Title IX complaints opened for investigation by the Office for Civil Rights after being reviewed and with many of those investigations being resolved in my favor without losing any cases so far, I’m confident that the remaining complaints under review will be opened for investigation and that the investigations will continue to be successfully resolved in my favor like the 20 resolutions above in 2020. After many decades of violating Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination with impunity, America’s universities are finally for the first time being held accountable for violating federal civil rights laws that are supposed to protect the civil rights all students, faculty and staff and not just the civil rights of the “preferred groups.”

The year in review: An update on my efforts to challenge Title IX violations in higher education and advance civil rights for all | American Enterprise Institute – AEI