Women’s Advocates Sue For Data On How Trump’s Team Is Handling Campus Sex Assault
By Kim Bellware
The National Women’s Law Center has sued the Department of Eduction in an effort to pry loose a trove of data related to the agency’s oversight and rules enforcement related to sexual harassment in U.S. schools.
The nonprofit, which advocates for women’s rights, claims the Department of Education failed to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) petition in January for data that are “a matter of public concern,” according to the complaint filed Monday in a federal court in Washington, D.C.
(Read the full complaint below.)
The NWLC argued that the Education Department’s data on Title IX ― the education law that bars sex-based discrimination, including sexual assault and sexual harassment, at schools that receive federal funding ― is needed to understand how the department is handling Title IX enforcement under Donald Trump’s administration. The department typically released such data annually under President Barack Obama.
Radio silence from the Department of Education in response to our simple request … is totally unacceptable
Fatima Goss Graves, president-elect of the National Women’s Law Center
The group filed a request in late January seeking records related to sexual harassment cases pending before the department’s Office of Civil Rights that include compliance reviews, information on how cases were resolved, investigations and other data.
Agencies typically have 20 days to acknowledge a FOIA request, at which point they can grant a request or specify why one was denied. According to the NWLC’s complaint, the Education Department denied the FOIA petition “due to the backlog of requests and the competing demands for the time of staff that are working to respond to [NWLC’s] request.”
The department […]