On February 21st, ED ACT NOW met with Senior White House officials on the President’s Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. We were pleased to have the opportunity to speak with the Executive Director of the President’s Council on Women and Girls, Tina Tchen; White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Lynn Rosenthal; Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius; Department of Education Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights, Catherine Lhamon; and many other key policy makers.
ED ACT NOW presented three main policy recommendations:
- For the Department of Education (ED) to shift from a system focusing on Voluntary Resolution Agreements with schools to a system focused on actual compliance.
- For ED to release ongoing guidance to help administrations better understand and respond to issues of LGBTQ violence, racial discrimination, intimate partner violence, and immigration.
- For a guarantee of full transparency in Title IX investigations, for the benefit of both the public and individual complainants.
The policymakers seemed receptive to our recommendations and expressed the most push back against our third point. ED is worried that releasing the names of schools under investigation before the conclusion of the investigation would unfairly publicly tar schools’ reputations. We of course expressed our disagreement. We hope the Task Force takes our recommendations seriously, and we look forward to continued dialogue moving forward.
ED ACT NOW
Kate, Alexandra, Dana, Jasmine, John, Suzanna, Laura, and Wagatwe