Tell Secretary DeVos: Stop the Attack on Survivors
Last year, NCTE, other advocacy groups, and student survivors of sexual assault met with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to urge her to stand by federal protections for student survivors and trans students. Instead of keeping guidance that helped schools handle sexual violence fairly, she is trying to wipe the guidance out.
Now, she has proposed new regulations that would make it easier for schools to brush sexual assault under the rug and make it harder for survivors to go to school safely. These regulations would also make it even easier than it is now for schools to use religion to justify discrimination against transgender students, LGBQ students, students who access reproductive care, and others.
Submit a comment now and tell Secretary DeVos that her proposal for how schools should handle sexual violence is dangerous.
Make sure your comment includes information about how it impacts transgender students. Here are some key points that you can use:
- Making it harder for students who face sexual assault and harassment to get an education is wrong, dangerous, and illegal. And it will have a particular impact on transgender students, who face high rates of sexual assault or harassment. For example, a 2015 study of nearly 28,000 transgender people found that nearly half had experienced sexual assault.
- Transgender students often face especially high barriers to reporting sexual assault and harassment—and this regulation would make it even harder. It could mean that many transgender students will face even more obstacles to equal educational opportunities.
- It’s already too easy for schools to use religious objections to discriminate against transgender students. It’s unnecessary and harmful to make discrimination even easier by rolling back the basic requirement that schools simply notify the Department of Education beforehand. Students at least have the right to know if their school is going to discriminate against them for who they are so that they can make an informed decision when deciding where they learn.