Jackson Issues Statement on DeVos Announcement to Rescind Title IX Protections

September 22, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Following the announcement this morning by federal Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that the Trump Administration made the decision to rescind Obama-era guidelines on Title IX and student sexual assault and harassment, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) issued the following statement:

“Betsy DeVos and the Trump Administration continue to play politics, pursuing an obsessive agenda to undo any and all advances made by the Obama Administration. But they are doing so in this case at the expense of students and safe campuses. How will parents feel sending their sons and daughters to campuses that sweep problems of sexual assault under the rug? In California, we will not go back. Both houses of the Legislature made a clear bipartisan statement by passing my bill, SB 169, to protect the Obama-era guidelines that strike an appropriate balance that were put in place during his tenure. We will not back down from the progress we have made on sexual assault and sexual violence,” said Jackson.

“The Trump Administration continues to perpetuate a war on women. It is now more important than ever that Governor Brown sign SB 169 into law and that other states follow. All students deserve an education in an environment that is safe and free from sexual harassment and sexual violence.”

Jackson is the author of SB 169 which passed both houses of the Legislature and is now sitting on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature. The bill will codify federal Title IX standards issued by the Obama Administration in response to the undeniable and alarming data on sexual harassment and sexual violence at schools throughout the country, including at the K-12 level. The 2011 protections were a strong step toward addressing this crisis.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center:

One in 5 women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.

More than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault.

A year-long investigation led by The Associated Press found 17,000 official reports of sexual assaults by students in K-12 schools over a four-year period. For every student abused by an adult at school, seven were abused by peers.

With SB 169, California is thought to be the only state currently working to preserve these Title IX civil rights protections into state law. The bill has wide-ranging support from education stakeholders, including the University of California, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, the California State Parent Teacher Association, the California School Boards Association, the Association of California School Administrators, as well as advocacy groups for students and young women of color and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.