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Department of Education Rescinds Obama-Era Title IX Guidance in Advance of New Rulemaking

This morning, the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” letter rescinding the Obama administration’s school sexual assault guidance.  The Department also issued a new set of Questions and Answers on Campus Sexual Misconduct.  The new guidance follows a speech delivered by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos earlier this month in which Secretary DeVos announced a formal rulemaking process regarding the process colleges and universities must follow with respect to Title IX-related complaints.  We recommend that educational organizations review this new guidance.

Specifically the Department of Education has rescinded the Obama-era Dear Colleague Letter on Sexual Violence dated April 4, 2011, and the Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence, dated April 29, 2015, and will no longer rely on these documents in its enforcement of Title IX.

The Department of Education has stated that it will continue to rely upon the Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance issued in 2001 and the Dear Colleague Letter on Sexual Harassment issued January 25, 2006.

We are reviewing this new guidance and will alert you to further developments.