In Executive Order 14021, President Biden stated a policy of guaranteeing students “an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex. . .” and instructed the Secretary of Education to review existing regulations and other policy documents within 100 days from the date of the order. The executive order specifically identified the amendments to the Title IX regulations that took effect in August of 2020.
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has recently provided some information on how it plans to proceed with that review. In a letter addressed to students, educators, and other stakeholders, OCR stated that it will be conducting a comprehensive review of the Department of Education’s regulations, orders, guidance, policies and other agency actions. The letter also specifically identified the 2020 regulations as an item to be reviewed.
As part of the review, OCR will hold a virtual public hearing allowing both live and written comments. The hearing will be held from June 7, 2021 to June 11, 2021. In the hearing notice, OCR specifically requested comments related to the regulations related to sexual harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Due to the potential sensitive nature of the comments, there will not be a recording of the hearing, but a transcript will be posted on the OCR website. The hearing notice also states that OCR will not share the personally identifiable information of commenter’s without first obtaining their consent.