BERWYN, Pa., March 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- ATIXA has issued a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, with Brett A. Sokolow, Esq. writing in his role as Executive Director of the leading non-partisan professional association for Title IX Administrators, representing the interests of more than 3,500 members. The hope and assumption is that there is shared common ground with respect to the premise that sex equity is an inherent good in education. ATIXA confirms its position as an association that all students deserve protection from sex discrimination under Title IX.
The media seems to think that DeVos is willing to gut the protections of Title IX, roll back the April 2011 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on Title IX, and ease enforcement by the Office for Civil Rights. However, everything Sokolow knows of Republicans suggests a principled willingness to enforce the laws, not to ignore or neglect them benignly. Enough Republicans voted for Title IX in 1972 that it passed both houses of Congress. Republican President Richard Nixon signed it into law. Enough Republicans supported VAWA §304 in 2013 for it to be passed, codifying some of the 2011 DCL in the process. DeVos knows that Title IX has a proud history of 45 years of creating opportunities for students in education, and Sokolow hopes that the media's predictions about her are wrong.
Further, he hopes that she uses her position not to roll Title IX back, but to strengthen it. If her belief is that OCR overreached in the prior administration, and due process suffered as a result, why not use this opportunity to enforce Title IX to protect the rights of all students, those who suffer sex discrimination and those who are accused of it? OCR's decision in October 2016 in its investigation of Wesley College creates new opportunities to expand due process under Title IX, itself. He hopes she will see that letter as an important new frontier in the protections that Title IX is able to afford.
There is no reason why Title IX cannot protect against discrimination and ensure due process at the same time. To meet the mandates of law, it must, and DeVos could be the Secretary whose Department brings that full realization of Title IX to fruition. Efforts to strengthen due process protections and the rights of those accused under Title IX will be applauded by ATIXA and its members.
This letter has several purposes. Obviously, ATIXA has released it to garner public support for its positions. More importantly, ATIXA has directed the letter to DeVos so that she knows ATIXA encourages OCR to use its authority to protect due process, protect the preponderance of the evidence standard, and protect the mandate that colleges and schools promptly and effectively remedy sex discrimination in all its forms. Ensuring the right of all Americans to full access to educational opportunity is the goal at ATIXA. Sokolow hopes it is the Secretary of Education's, as well.
Founded in 2011, ATIXA is the nation's only membership association dedicated solely to compliance with Title IX and the support of our more than 3,500 administrator members who hold Title IX responsibilities in schools and colleges. ATIXA is the leading provider of Title IX training and certification, having certified more than 3,000 Title IX coordinators and more than 8,000 Title IX investigators since 2011. For more information, visit www.atixa.org.
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SOURCE Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA)