Action Alert: Protect Students' Civil Rights | Equal Rights Advocates
Fighting for Women's Equality

Action Alert: Protect Students’ Civil Rights

June 30, 2017 | by

When Betsy DeVos became Secretary of Education, we knew it likely meant the Department of Education would roll back strong enforcement of students’ rights across the country.

Last week, that weakening began. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has announced that it would no longer focus on investigating systemic violations of civil rights laws at publicly funded schools.

Why? Because systemic investigations take too much time.

This is unacceptable. No “civil rights” agency worth its salt would voluntarily give up its most valuable enforcement tool. Systemic investigations into schools’ adherence to laws prohibiting discrimination are essential to keeping students safe and making sure that no one is denied access to an education because of her sex, race, or disability.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, gender-based crimes account for 75 percent of the spike in hate crimes since the election last year. We have seen evidence of this rise in school settings, including in colleges, where 1 in 5 women will be the victim of a sexual assault or attempted assault before she graduates and campus sexual violence affects a shocking 24% of transgender and gender nonconforming students.

Rather than looking at individual cases, one at a time, systemic investigations focus on the big picture. This often uncovers patterns of inequities and leads to schools identifying and changing policies and practices that have an impact on the entire school community. Without these investigations, we lose a powerful means of holding schools accountable for treating students fairly.

We believe upholding the rights of all students is worth the Department of Education’s time. If you agree, sign our letter to Secretary DeVos.

Not a member of the Equal Rights Action Team? Join today to receive timely information on how you can help defend our hard-fought civil rights.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments

Recent Posts

  • University of Denver Settles Pay Discrimination Lawsuit with $2.6 Million to Women Law Professors... read more
  • Lactation Accommodations: A Right, Not a Privilege... read more
  • Don’t Miss Mónica Ramírez and Irma Herrera at Our Gala Luncheon... read more
  • Radical Justice Looks Like Centering the Survivor... read more
  • This Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Survivors and Allies Have the Power... read more
  • 7 Things You Didn’t Know about Equal Pay Day... read more
  • On Eve of Equal Pay Day, Equal Rights Advocates Celebrates Victory for Fair Pay with En Banc Ninth Circuit Decision... read more
  • Don’t Miss Our 2018 Annual Gala Luncheon!... read more
  • Guest Post: From Hollywood to Academia, Power Structures of Sexual Harassment Remain the Same... read more
  • ERA Sues Sacramento School District for Civil Rights Violations after Sexual Assault... read more