On July 20, 2021, the Department of Education (through the Office of Civil Rights “OCR”), unveiled new guidance to help schools understand their obligations under the Betsy DeVos-era Title IX rule. The rule, which went into effect on August 14, 2020, is currently undergoing a comprehensive review based on the Executive Order issued by President Biden on April 6, 2021.
The 67-page Q&A is divided into 17 sections and provides guidance on a variety of topics covered by the 2020 Title IX amendments, focusing on language within the preamble. The guidance also includes an appendix with sample language schools can utilize (but are not required to) in creating a Title IX policy.
OCR makes it clear that the 2020 Title IX amendments set out the minimum steps a school must take in response to notice of alleged sexual harassment. Schools may take additional actions so long as there is no conflict with Title IX. Some key points of the guidance which apply to postsecondary institutions include: