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Board Opposes Weaker Title IX Sexual Harassment Regulations

News Release

 

CONTACT:                                                      Shannon Haber, 213-393-1289   

                                   

Board Opposes Weaker Title IX Sexual Harassment Regulations

 

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 15, 2020) – The Board of Education went on record to oppose recent changes to Title IX regulations that could discourage sexual harassment complaints. Los Angeles Unified will implement the new federal rules, according to the resolution sponsored by Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson, along with other relevant policies and laws that will provide investigative and grievance procedures to protect all students and employees in their learning and work environments and ensure nondiscrimination and a safe, supportive school climate. The resolution was co-sponsored by the six other board members.

Title IX is a civil rights law that bars discrimination on the basis of sex, which can include sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault, in educational institutions that received federal support. 

“I am pleased to introduce a resolution that opposes the current Title IX regulations and proposes new standards for Los Angeles Unified that will maintain the safest and fairest process free of any type of discrimination for all students regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexual preference,” Board Member Schmerelson said. “It is my hope that this resolution would be the first step towards updating mandatory policies and trainings so that all District stakeholders know what to do, to properly report a situation as well as provide the necessary supports for students and staff during any investigation.”

“Los Angeles Unified will always be committed to being a safe and welcoming environment for all our students,” Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic said. “We must always uphold a higher standard in policies and procedures that protect our Los Angeles Unified children from any discrimination on basis of sex and includes sexual harassment, rape and sexual assault.” 

“The changes to Title IX regarding sexual harassment take this country backward,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “Making it harder to report complaints is wrong. Los Angeles Unified is required to implement the new regulations but will never retreat from strong protections for our students and employees.”

 "Los Angeles Unified continues to battle to address institutional discrimination and move toward gender equity," Board Member Mónica García said. "Today's affirmation to uphold the safest and fairest policies across all sectors is a prime example of our collective responsibility in making our schools leaders of equity, justice, and challengers of the status quo."

“I’m proud of the work that L.A. Unified has done to support victims of sexual harassment and abuse,” Board Member Nick Melvoin said. “Despite the federal government’s attempts to roll back protections with its new Title IX regulations, I know that we will continue working to ensure that our schools are safe, welcoming environments for all students and employees, and that victims of harassment have prompt and appropriate avenues to report and address concerns.”

“Nearly 50 years after Title IX banned discrimination based on sex, we still must fight to protect survivors from the time they come forward regarding sexual harassment, abuse or rape – without allowing loopholes for those who are guilty throughout Los Angeles Unified,” Board Member Jackie Goldberg said.

“Los Angeles Unified remains committed to providing learning and working environments where all in the school community feel safe, supported and protected,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said.

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