Hands Off IX Campaign Will Bring Together Survivors, Students, and Activists to Speak Out Against Secretary DeVos’ Attack on Survivors
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, End Rape on Campus and Know Your IX announced a joint campaign, Hands Off IX, to harness survivors’ fears and opposition to the Trump administration’s new proposed rule on Title IX. Survivor activists, advocates, and students will host and participate in actions around the country, on campuses, and in Washington, D.C., to push back against Secretary DeVos’ attack on survivors’ rights. As the notice-and-comment period for the proposed regulation begins, the Hands Off IX campaign will encourage and enable people to submit comments with their opposition to the dangerous rule, asking the Trump administration to keep their hands off Title IX.
The Hands Off IX campaign includes an online comment tool for organizations, student activists, survivors, and their families to submit comments to the Department of Education registering their opposition to the Title IX rule. Additionally, the organizing campaign will encourage survivors and activists to host comment writing parties, actions, and town hall meetings. These actions can be taken across the country with the resources Hands Off IX provides.
“We must not allow Secretary DeVos to return our schools to a time where rape, assault, and harassment were swept under the rug. Students and survivors will not sit in silence and let the Trump administration quietly put in place disastrous rules that let schools off the hook, and will deny survivors equal access to their education after experiencing sexual violence. We all have an opportunity – and a responsibility to survivors – to stop the implementation of this disastrous rule by submitting comments during the notice-and-comment period,” said Jess Davidson, Executive Director of End Rape on Campus.
“Students and survivors will not let Secretary DeVos rollback our rights without a fight. These proposals signal the Department of Education’s decision to prioritize schools’ bottom line over survivors’ right to an education. If these draft rules become law, more survivors will be forced out of school by harassment, assault, and their schools’ indifference to their complaints. We all must take action to stop DeVos’ proposed rule from becoming law by fighting back through direct action and submitting comments during the notice-and-comment period,” said Sage Carson, Manager of Know Your IX.
Hands Off IX is launching with actions in Boston, New York City, Denver, and Washington, D.C. this week.Survivor activists and students organizers will hold demonstrations, share survivor stories, and deliver petitions signed by students demanding the rule be struck down to their regional Department of Education Offices of Civil Rights in Boston on Thursday, December 6th, and in New York City, Denver, and D.C. on Friday, December 7th. The action in Denver is led by students from the University of Denver, the action in Boston is led by students at Harvard and MIT, and the NYC action is led by students at Hunter College.
In Washington, D.C.,survivor activists and advocates will hold a “Speak Out” against Secretary DeVos’ attack on survivors’ rights outside the Department of Education on Friday, December 7 at 1:00pm ET. At the speak out, participants will share their stories of survival and highlight their concerns with the proposed rule. Additionally, 130 of survivors and activists joined a national organizing call this week.
The comment tool allows individuals and groups to submit comments in the proper format so they are counted by the Department of Education and Office of Management and Budget. The tool is designed to make comment writing – a process that is inaccessible to students and young people – easier and more user-friendly. A broad range of groups including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, It’s On Us, and Girls Inc. are promoting the comment tool within their grassroots networks. Since launching last week, hundreds of comments have been submitted from 48 states and the District of Columbia.
Last week, over 600 students signed a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Assistant Secretary Kenneth Marcus requesting an extension to the comment period that lies squarely during students’ exams and holiday break.
The recently-released proposed Title IX regulation would make schools more dangerous for students, and make it incredibly easy for schools to cover up and ignore sexual violence happening right under their noses. This unlawful rule would let schools off the hook for not enforcing their Title IX obligations and fails to protect survivors’ civil right to access their education. This proposed rule proves that students are Secretary DeVos’ last priority: she would rather save schools money than keep students safe.
Know Your IX is a survivor- and-youth-led project of Advocates for Youth that aims to empower students to end sexual and dating violence in their schools through policy advocacy, training and supporting student activist, and educating high-school and college students about their legal rights. Learn more at KnowYourIX.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @knowyourIX.