Maine Senate Democrats sign letter supporting Title IX protections
AUGUSTA — In response to proposed detrimental changes to Title IX federal protections, eight Democratic senators from Maine were among 145 state legislators from across the country who signed an open letter to the Department of Education.
Title IX, enacted in 1972, bans discrimination on the basis of sex in publicly funded education programs and activities – this includes legal protection from sexual harassment and abuse.
Changes in Title IX regulations proposed by the Department of Education would endanger victims of harassment and abuse and hinder schools in investigating and resolving complaints. The letter calls on the department to withdraw the proposed rule changes.
“Title IX is a crucial federal civil rights law that addresses the far-reaching impact of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, on students’ education by ensuring that schools respond appropriately and effectively to sexual harassment,” the letter states, in part.
“Title IX has provided crucial protections for all women and girls who want an education,” said Sen. Cathy Breen, D-Falmouth, who helped circulate the letter among Senate Democrats and signed the letter. “Everyone has a right to enjoy a safe, welcoming environment while they are in school. My colleagues and I will not tolerate any attack on that right.”
Other Maine senators who signed the letter are: Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash; Assistant Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic; Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell; Sen. Geoff Gratwick, D-Bangor; Sen. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast; Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth; and Sen. Linda Sanborn, D-Gorham.
The letter was organized by the American Association of University Women and the National Women’s Law Center. The letter can be read online at https://nwlc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/State-Legislator-Comment-Letter-1.25.pdf.