Campus Office for Civil Rights Press Release Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Title IX

Newspapers, Commentators, and Organizations Give the ‘Thumbs Down’ to Catherine Lhamon



Newspapers, Commentators, and Organizations Give the ‘Thumbs Down’ to Catherine Lhamon

WASHINGTON / October 13, 2021 – A YouGov survey of the American public found that 68-80% of Americans — Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — support campus due process. Accordingly, a growing number of newspapers, commentators, and organizations has come out in opposition to the nomination of Catherine Lhamon to lead the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

During the July 13 HELP Committee hearing, Lhamon repeatedly side-stepped direct questions whether she believed in basic due process protections. She also admitted that she rejects the presumption of innocence, instead saying that Title IX adjudicators “should be open to the possibility” that the accused student is not guilty ( As a result, Lhamon failed to win approval from a majority of HELP Committee members.

Three media outlets, 35 commentators, and 12 non-profit groups — both liberal and conservative – have come out in opposition to the Lhamon nomination, often expressing their concerns in strong language:

Media Outlets


Over 35 editorials by liberal and conservative commentators have been written in opposition to the nomination. and


  1. American Enterprise Institute ( )
  2. Center for Urban Renewal and Education (
  3. Equality for Boys and Men ( )
  4. Families Advocating for Campus Equality (
  5. Family Research Council ( )
  6. Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (
  7. Independent Women’s Law Center and Independent Women’s Voice ( )
  8. National Association for Scholars (
  9. National Coalition For Men Carolinas ( )
  10. Palm Beach Freedom Institute ( )
  11. SAVE (
  12. Title IX for All (

“Should Catherine Lhamon be confirmed, we are likely to see the resurrection of college sex tribunals with all the procedural fairness of the Salem Witch Trials,“ according to Independent Women’s Law Center director Jennifer Braceras.

SAVE urges all senators to vigorously oppose the nomination of Catherine Lhamon.

Campus Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Title IX

‘Take Responsibility Act’ Would Upend Long-Standing Supreme Court Decisions, Dramatically Increasing University Liability Risk


Rebecca Stewart: 513-479-3335


‘Take Responsibility Act’ Would Upend Long-Standing Supreme Court Decisions, Dramatically Increasing University Liability Risk

WASHINGTON / October 11, 2021 – Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) recently introduced H.R. 5396 (1), a bill that would substantially increase universities’ risk of being targeted in Title IX lawsuits. The bill would remove the “actual notice” standard for Title IX claims, and provide a private right of action for alleged violations of Title IX regulations. These two changes would revolutionize how Title IX cases are handled on college campuses.

First, Section 3(a) of H.R. 5396 would abolish the “actual notice” standard for deliberate indifference of Title IX claims. “Deliberate indifference” claims are those filed against schools by persons who claim they are victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault where the university failed to act in response to the allegation.

Currently, such claims are governed by the standard set forth by the Supreme Court in Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District (2), and Davis Next Friend LaShonda D. v. Monroe City Board of Education (3). These cases established the same standard for faculty-on-student and student-on-student claims, respectively. For a plaintiff to succeed, he or she must show that the school had “actual notice” of the harassment, meaning that “an official who at a minimum has authority to address the alleged discrimination… has actual knowledge of discrimination in the recipient’s programs and fails adequately to respond.” (4). In addition, the plaintiff must prove that the harassment was “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it… deprive[d] the victim of access to the educational opportunities.” (5).

Rep. Dingell’s bill would overrule these Supreme Court cases and establish a much lower standard. Under H.R. 5396, Title IX plaintiffs could use a negligence standard, which would allow them to prevail if they could merely show that the school “should have known” about the harassment. This bucks the Supreme Court’s reasoning that such a standard would unfairly punish schools for actions of third parties of which the school was unaware (6). Were this bill to become law, schools could expect a flood of litigation from alleged victims who may not have even filed complaints at their respective schools, because the school need not know about the harassment to be liable.

Second, the changes wrought by the bill’s Section 3(b) would be even more profound. This section would provide a private right of action to all Title IX plaintiffs (not just victim-plaintiffs) for violations of federal Title IX regulations.  As it stands now, victims of campus sex discrimination are required to prove discrimination in court, under the appropriate Title IX theories. Under H.R. 5396, a student could prevail if he or she shows discrimination, or that Title IX regulations were violated.

For example, the current Title IX regulations require “notice of the allegations of sexual harassment potentially constituting sexual harassment.” (7) Under the current Title IX regime, a plaintiff cannot sue if a school fails to provide adequate notice (unless he argues that the failure was motivated by sex-bias); rather, he will have to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights and hope that the Executive Branch enforces its regulations. Under the Dingell bill, by contrast, the plaintiff could simply show the school failed to provide adequate notice, and that failure in itself would be sufficient to show a violation of Title IX.

The effects would be immense. Whereas currently OCR could decline to pursue claims it received, under this bill every student effectively would become a citizen enforcement agency empowered to enforce federal regulations.

If this bill were to become law, schools could be held liable for harassment they did not know occurred, and for any failure to strictly abide by federal regulations. It is unclear whether sexual harassment accusers or respondents would be more likely to take advantage of these changes. But there is little doubt that if enacted into law, H.R. 5396 would provide an array of opportunities for students searching for creative strategies to cover their higher education expenses.


  2. 524 U.S. 274 (1998).
  3. 526 U.S. 629 (1999).
  4. Gebser, 524 U.S. at 290.
  5. Davis, 526 U.S. at 650.
  6. Davis, 526 U.S. at 642.
  7. Section 106.45(b)(2)(i)(B).
Campus Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Title IX

Know Your IX: ‘I’m angry, I’m disappointed’

Know Your IX: ‘I’m angry, I’m disappointed’

October 6, 2021

This morning was not what I expected. Our team had a meeting scheduled at the Department of Education with Acting Assistant Secretary Suzanne Goldberg and Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten. We were coming with more than 55,000 signatures on a petition demanding the Department of Education take action to protect survivors. I’m not naive. I knew they were resistant. But we came to the table hopeful that we could meet a compromise.

Instead, the Biden Administration outright refused to respond to our reasonable demands and turned their backs on student survivors.

Currently, the Biden Administration plans to wait until May 2022 to propose a new Trump-DeVos Title IX rule to help survivors. But that’s way too late. If they follow the same timeline as the last Administration, we wouldn’t get a new more effective Title IX rule until February 2024. We told them student survivors cannot wait any longer for the department to restore our civil rights. They must act now.

And what was their response? They asked us for ideas on how to prevent sexual assault on campuses. Yes, really. As if we hadn’t just presented our ideas in the form of a petition with more than 55,000 supporters! How do you prevent sexual assault?? A new Title IX rule issued this year, not May 2022, that’s how!

Then we took a deep breath, and decided to share some stories of students who survived sexual assault. It was heart-wrenching and difficult. But we ended by again reiterating what would have helped these students –– a Title IX rule that supports the rights and safety of all.

But the Department, again, shirked off our demands. I’m sick and tired of people in power asking survivors to share their trauma only to ignore their demands and turn their back on them.

I’m angry, I’m disappointed, but I’m ready to keep fighting. We organized a national movement that pushed the Obama administration to take survivors’ safety and access to education seriously––and we will do it again. But we need your help––here’s how:

  1. If you’re a student or recent alumni, sign up here to join a national coalition of students demanding #EDActNow. Today was just the first step, but we’re not done yet.
  2. If you’re not a current student or recent alumni, donate to ensure we can expand our national movement to organize for the rights of survivors. No amount is too small!
  3. Add your voice to this fight and check out the #EDActNow digital engagement toolkit for ways you can spread the word online or in your own community.

This is just the first week of October, there is still time for the Department of Education to come to their senses and meet some of our demands. But from what we’ve seen today, it’s going to take a lot of pressure to get them there.

In Solidarity,

Sage Carson

Manager, Know Your IX

Source: Know Your IX group message titled, “We met with the Dept. of Education, they turned their backs on us.”