Education Law Center has submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rules on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. ELC’s concerns focus on the impact of the proposed amended regulations on students in Pennsylvania’s publicly-funded PreK-12 schools, including Black girls, who are more likely to be subject to sexual harassment and to be stereotyped and
disciplined for defending themselves against such harassment in school.
While we celebrate the progress that has been made in the 50 years since Title IX was passed, sex-based harassment and discrimination remains a very significant problem in preK-12 schools in Pennsylvania and across the country. Sexual harassment in K-12 schools is understudied, but nearly half of students experience sexual harassment at school, and 87% of those students said that the harassment had a negative effect on them.” In particular, Black girls are often ignored or punished when they complain to their schools about sex-based harassment and discrimination, which reinforces the under-reporting of these incidents.