Statement by Vice President Joe Biden on the Trump Administration Rule to Undermine Title IX and Campus Safety
Survivors deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. Today, Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump published a rule that flies in the face of that belief and guarantees that college campuses will be less safe for our nation’s young people.
Simply put: this new rule gives colleges a green light to ignore sexual violence and strip survivors of their rights. It lets colleges off the hook for protecting students, by permitting them to choose to investigate only more extreme acts of violence and harassment and requiring them to investigate in a way that dissuades survivors from coming forward.
This rule fundamentally disregards student’s civil rights under Title IX, which has helped pave the way for millions of women to access education. Survivors and advocates have fought to hold schools accountable and give young people truly fair access to education. Today’s rule rolls back the clock and reverses those hard-fought victories.
Our young people deserve better. During the Obama-Biden Administration, I traveled to the University of New Hampshire — a school with one of the best programs to prevent sexual assault in the nation — to announce that colleges would have new guidance and support from our Administration on how best to prevent and respond to campus sexual assault.
With that encouragement — and the It’s On Us campaign that President Obama and I launched — schools took great steps towards leveling the playing field for survivors and accused students. Working with survivors and advocates, we helped to bring this violence out of the shadows and required schools change their practices.
Now, Trump’s Education Department — led by Betsy DeVos — is trying to shame and silence survivors, and take away parents’ peace of mind. It’s wrong. And, it will be put to a quick end in January 2021, because as President, I’ll be right where I always have been throughout my career — on the side of survivors, who deserve to have their voices heard, their claims taken seriously and investigated, and their rights upheld.