AAUW Public Policy Priority
To support a strong system of public education that promotes gender fairness, equity, and diversity, AAUW advocates:
- Vigorous enforcement of Title IX and all other civil rights laws pertaining to education
66% of Pennsylvania Public Schools (K-12) Reported
Zero Incidents of Sexual Harassment in 2013–14*
This would be good news if the numbers were believable. That means two-thirds of schools have eliminated sexual harassment and bullying completely. Many reports, including AAUW’s research, refute this.
- The AAUW report Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Schools found that nearly half of students grades 7–12 (and more than half of girls) reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment in the previous school year.
- A 2013 Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network survey of LGBT students in middle and high school found that 74 percent were verbally harassed in the previous year because of their sexual orientation and 55 percent were verbally harassed because of their gender expression.
Based on these findings, we can infer that schools included in the CRDC data are vastly underestimating the frequency of sexual harassment and bullying based on sex in U.S. schools.
Call to Action
Bring this to the attention of Title IX Coordinators AND Deliver the new Title IX Resources
The information provided in the CRDC is vital to promoting Title IX compliance in local communities and investigating where schools don’t appear to be following the law. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights recommended that Title IX coordinators train relevant staff about how information on sex-based harassment should be reported under the CRDC and work to ensure the accuracy of the reporting.
Every school should have at least one employee who is responsible for coordinating the school’s compliance with Title IX. Many have not been trained, have support from colleagues or administration, or know their job extends beyond athletics. The Department of Education published resources that AAUW members across the country are delivering to Title IX coordinators. At this writing, only seven deliveries have been reported in Pennsylvania.
Attend local school board meetings to speak in the public comment portion of the agenda
This will bring the issue to the attention of school board members and make our concerns part of the official minutes. Here are sample remarks. Complete activity report.
* AAUW analysis of the recently released U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) for 2013–14 on harassment and bullying in America’s public schools.