9 Things to Know About Title IX

Why We’re Taking The Title IX Fight to The States

Students can’t rely on the Pussy-Grabber-In-Chief to uphold sexual assault survivors’ rights. It’s time for states to step in.

Earlier this week, Know Your IX – the national survivor- and youth- led campaign to end gender violence in schools – released a State Policy Playbook, outlining key recommendations for state action to end sexual violence in schools.

Full disclosure: I’m a co-author of the Playbook, and I wrote it because I knew firsthand how much student survivors can benefit from state action to address gender violence as an education access issue. As a student at Columbia, I spent years trying to get my school to give survivors the support they needed to stay in school. When my school refused to do so, I banded together with students across New York to campaign for state legislation that protected survivors. The year I graduated, New York passed comprehensive legislation to tackle sexual assault in schools: for example, the new law required my school to adopt a strong amnesty policy for survivors, which prohibits schools from punishing survivors who come forward for student code of conduct issues like underage drinking that occurred at the time of the incident.

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The Trump Administration has largely abdicated its duty to enforce civil rights laws. As Dana and Alexandra wrote in the Washington Post, Candice Jackson, the acting head of the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, says that the Administration may start hiding which schools have problems with sexual assault. Student survivors are turning up the pressure on the Trump Education Department, but now more than ever we know we’ve got to take the fight for safe, equitable schools to state legislatures.

That’s why our Playbook lays out a comprehensive blueprint for states that want to ensure all students can go to school free from harassment, violence, and discrimination. Its recommendations span best practices for transparency, safe reporting processes, prevention, resources for survivors, fair discipline, and enforcement, and it highlights model legislation that’s already passed in states from California to Texas.

You can check out the full State Policy Playbook here. If you’re interested in using these policies in your advocacy or in state legislation, please reach out to us for more information at info@KnowYourIX.org.

Image credit: Know Your IX

Sejal Singh is a columnist at Feministing, where she writes about educational equity, labor, and reproductive justice. Sejal is a Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for Know Your IX, a national campaign to end gender-based violence in schools, where she has led several state and federal campaigns for student survivors' civil rights. In the past, Sejal led LGBT rights campaigns for the Center for American Progress. Today, she is a student at Harvard Law School and a frequent speaker on LGBTQ rights and civil rights in schools.

Sejal Singh is a law student and columnist at Feministing, writing about educational equity, labor, and reproductive justice.

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