Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights Announces Virtual Public Hearing to Gather Information for the Purpose of Improving Enforcement of Title IX

Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights Announces Virtual Public Hearing to Gather Information for the Purpose of Improving Enforcement of Title IX

May 17, 2021

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today announced a virtual public hearing to be held from June 7, 2021, to June 11, 2021, to gather information for improving enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972The notice for the public hearing is available here, and the official hearing notice will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days.

The hearing is part of OCR's comprehensive review of the Department's existing regulations and other actions related to Title IX to implement President Biden's March 8 Executive Order on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity. The Executive Order stresses the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment that the nation's students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual violence, and including discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The hearing is also a step toward fulfilling the directives of President Biden's Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.

"The Department is committed to ensuring every student has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive in and out of the classroom, including in extracurricular activities and other educational settings." said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "This hearing is an important opportunity for us to hear diverse views from students, educators, and members of the public on our work to vigorously enforce Title IX's protections against sex discrimination and create pathways of opportunity for every student across the country."

During the hearing, OCR seeks input from students, parents, educators, school staff, administrators and other members of the public on what additional changes to the Title IX regulations and any related agency actions may be necessary to fulfill  President Biden's Executive Orders. The Department looks forward to hearing from participants on steps that can be taken  to ensure that students who experience sexual harassment, including sexual violence, receive appropriate supports; schools provide fair processes for resolving complaints of sexual harassment, including sexual violence; and students who have experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity have their legal rights fully met. The input from the hearing will also support the Department's commitment to ensuring equal and nondiscriminatory access to education for all students, from pre-K-12 to postsecondary education, including in extracurricular activities and other educational settings.

The notice for the hearing includes:

  • The agenda for the virtual public hearing.
  • The format of the hearing.
  • Information about how members of the public can participate in the hearing, including how to register to provide a live comment during the hearing and how to submit a written comment. And,
  • Information about how to attend the hearing virtually.

Members of the public can visit https://cvent.me/1w5YWo to register to make a live comment during the hearing. Members of the public can also send their written comments to T9PublicHearing@ed.gov, following the guidelines in the hearing notice.

The hearing will take place on the following dates and times:

  • June 7, 2021, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., ET
  • June 8, 2021, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.,  ET
  • June 9, 2021, from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., ET
  • June 10, 2021, from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., ET
  • June 11, 2021, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.,  ET

OCR looks forward to hearing views and insights from students, parents and guardians, teachers, faculty members, school staff, administrators and other members of the public on Title IX and schools' responsibilities to address sexual harassment, including sexual violence, and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in education programs and activities. Please visit the public hearing notice at the links above for additional information.