Lynn's List for Week of December 10th
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        A Weekly List of Advocacy Items
December 10, 2018

This will be the last Lynn’s List for 2018.  Even though there will be no list, please keep up with the news and contact Members of Congress as needed.  Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe, healthy New Year.


In 2019, Lynn’s List will be distributed on Monday evening instead of Sunday.  Many of our coalition partners distribute newsletters on Monday morning. By changing to Monday evening, we will have the most current advocacy information available.  Also, we will have the updated elected officials list attached in 2019.


Please join us on Tuesday, December 18 from 4:30-6:30 at the Ocmulgee Brew Pub for food, fun, fellowship and advocacy at our Holiday 2018 signing event.


Open Enrollment for Obamacare ends December 15th, so remember you have until Friday to select your plan.

Quality Public Education

The changes in rules governing sexual harassment and assaults will have a long lasting and detrimental effect on students, particularly women and girls.  Keep in mind the statistics from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) that 23.1% of undergraduate females and 11.2% of all students (graduate and undergraduate, both men and women) experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.  

On November 16th, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released her long-awaited rewrite of rules governing campus sexual harassment and assault allegations, narrowing the cases schools must investigate and giving the accused more rights.  In summary, the proposed regulation describes what constitutes sexual harassment or assault for the purpose of Title IX enforcement, what triggers a school’s legal obligation to respond to allegations and how a school must respond. The proposal changes the definition of harassment from “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” to “unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school’s education program or activity.”

The rule change limits the circumstances that would mandate a school respond to an incident. The school must have “actual knowledge” of the allegations. At colleges and universities, that means the incident must have been reported to “an official with authority to take corrective action,” including the school’s Title IX coordinator. This excludes reporting just to any faculty member.   In addition, the incident must have occurred within a school’s own programs or activities (private, off-campus parties and fraternity parties are not included). Off-campus incidents if it were, for instance, in a building owned by the school, or at an event that the school funded, sponsored, promoted or endorsed would be included.

The link to make public comments is below.  Cut and paste is not allowed so you must come up with your own script but some suggestions for development in your own words are listed below. As always, personal experience (you or someone you know) is the most effective in commenting.  The suggestions come from the National Women’s Law Center. This issue is so important for women, I encourage you to read their full text. The link is:

  1. In many instances, schools would not be responsible for addressing sexual harassment, even when school employees knew about the harassment.  

  2. Schools would be required to ignore harassment that occurs outside of a school activity, (fraternity parties) including most off-campus and online harassment.

  3. Schools would be required to ignore harassment(this includes stalking) until it becomes quite severe and harmful and denies a student educational opportunities.

  4. Schools would be allowed to treat survivors poorly as long as the school follows various procedures in place, regardless of how those procedures fail to help or harm survivors.

  5. Schools would be allowed to give survivors weak (or even harmful) “supportive measures.

  6. Religious schools would be able to claim “religious” excuses for violating Title IX, even if the school had never before requested a religious exemption from the Department of Education

  7. In the rare cases when schools would be required to respond to a complaint of sexual harassment, they would be allowed—or even required—to deny harassment victims of due process.

  8. There would be no clear timeframe for investigations, and schools would be able to delay taking any action if there is also an ongoing criminal investigation.

  9. Schools would be required to presume that no harassment occurred.

  10. Many schools would be required to use an inappropriate and more demanding standard of proof to investigate sexual harassment than to investigate other types of student misconduct.

  11. Survivors in college and graduate school would be required to submit to live cross-examination by their rapist’s advisor of choice.

  12. Schools would be allowed to pressure survivors into mediation with their assailants.

    Thank you for your continued advocacy and remember, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. 99 weeks until the 2020 elections.

    Contact Sheet for our Public Officials:

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