ERA Deeply Disappointed in Veto of Senate Bill 169
On Sunday, October 15, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 169. This bill, which passed both houses of the legislature with bipartisan support, would have ensured state-funded schools continued to adhere to Obama-era guidance for investigating complaints of sexual harassment and assault, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. This legislation became especially critical after Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rescinded strong guidance for federally-funded schools.
ERA Executive Director Noreen Farrell said of the veto:
“We are deeply disappointed that Governor Brown vetoed Senate Bill 169, a bill that would have gone far ensure a fair process to halt the epidemic of harassment and assault in our schools. Our experience on the ground listening to girls shows that sexual harassment and violence at school disproportionately affects girls and young women of color, gender nonconforming, and LGBT youth. We look forward to working with the Governor’s office and other concerned stakeholders to strengthen California’s statutory requirements so that every student feels safe enough to learn.”
“However, the veto of SB 169 will not deter Equal Rights Advocates from rigorously defending Title IX and analogous state laws when it comes to protecting students. We will continue to advocate for strong affirmative guidelines modeled on the recently-rescinded Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights 2011 Dear Colleague Letter. We will defend the civil rights of survivors as our federal government reneges on its obligation.”