AG Grewal Leads Multi-State Lawsuit Against U.S. Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos over Title IX Rule that Weakens Students’ Protections Against Sexual Violence and Harassment

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today led a multi-state coalition in suing to block a new Title IX regulation from the U.S. Department of Education that would significantly weaken federal protections for students from sexual violence and harassment in education.

With an effective date of August 14, 2020, the new rules have K-12 schools, colleges, and universities scrambling to revise their long-standing sexual harassment policies for the coming academic year – all while dealing simultaneously with issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the new rules take effect, the federal government will no longer require schools to address some types of sexual violence and harassment that they previously were required to investigate. The new rules also will deter students from complaining to their schools about sexual violence and harassment, will make it more costly for schools to prevent and remedy such misconduct, and likely will mean that schools discipline a smaller percentage of students who engage in misconduct.

A total of 17 states and the District of Columbia are plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra are co-leading the lawsuit with Attorney General Grewal.

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