NWLC Sues Betsy DeVos and Administration for Discriminating Against Survivors of Sexual Violence

The National Women’s Law Center has sued the Department of Education. Together with co-counsel Democracy Forward, National Center for Youth Law, and Equal Rights Advocates, it filed suit in the Northern District of California to challenge Secretary DeVos’ discriminatory 2017 Title IX policy on sexual misconduct in schools.  The lawsuit claims that the Department based its policy on sexist stereotypes about survivors’ credibility and factual and legal mistakes, in violation of the Constitution, and that it was issued without following proper procedures in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

This new policy will hurt all survivors, but particularly women, girls, and LGBTQ students, who are the vast majority of survivors. They are less likely to come forward, more likely to be pushed out of school after experiencing sexual harassment and violence, and will lose countless educational and economic opportunities in addition to the harm caused by sexual misconduct itself. In addition, the Department’s new policy is internally contradictory and also conflicts with guidance still on the books, so it has caused confusion and uncertainty for schools. That’s why NWLC and partners we are asking the court to vacate the discriminatory 2017 policy.

Sample social media for allies:

  • Betsy DeVos is making it harder for students to live & learn free from sexual harassment and violence, so @NWLC, @DemocracyFwd, and @NCYLnews are taking her to court on behalf of @SurvJustice @EqualRightsAdv & @VictimRightsLaw. #MeTooK12 #MeToo
  • BREAKING: @NWLC, @DemocracyFwd, and @NCYLnews are suing Betsy DeVos on behalf of @SurvJustice @EqualRightsAdv & @VictimRightsLaw for undermining student survivors’ #TitleIX rights. #MeTooK12 #MeToo
  • Time and again, Betsy DeVos and Candice Jackson have chosen to promote sexist stereotypes about survivors instead of protecting their civil rights to an education free from harassment and violence. We stand with the plaintiffs in this case & the millions of survivors who deserve better. We must #StopBetsy.
  • While student survivors are saying #MeToo, Betsy DeVos is undermining their right to learn free from sexual violence.
  • Secretary DeVos has spent more time listening to sexist extremists than meeting with student survivors of sexual harassment and assault. Her policies are discriminatory, and they must be stopped. #MeTooK12
  • DeVos’ Title IX guidance is rooted in harmful gender stereotypes that discourage survivors from coming forward and make schools less safe. I stand with the plaintiffs in this case. We must #StopBetsy.

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Click here to read the press release.

Click here to read the complaint.

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