Re: Docket No. ED-2018-OCR-0064, RIN 1870–AA14,
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or
Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance
Dear Mr. Marcus,
I am writing on behalf of Girls Inc. to express our strong opposition to the Department of Education’s proposed rules relating to sexual harassment, as published in the Federal Register on November 29, 2018.
Girls Inc. is the national organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, through direct service and advocacy. Our 81 local affiliates in the U.S. and Canada serve girls ages 5-18, primarily through afterschool and summer programs. We reach over 156,000 girls annually, 62% of whom come from families earning less than $30,000 a year and 74% of whom identify as girls of color. We also advocate, with our girls, for policies and practices that will help break down barriers so that all girls and young women can have the chance to grow up healthy, educated, and independent.
Enacted in 1972, Title IX established that any educational program or activity receiving federal funds cannot discriminate against an individual on the basis of sex. In the decades since the law’s passage, courts all the way up to the Supreme Court have ruled that Title IX requires schools to address sexual harassment and assault so it does not interfere with a student’s civil right to an education free from sex discrimination. Over the last few decades, the Department has also emphasized that remedying sexual harassment in schools is necessary in order to provide students with an optimal learning environment.