February 01, 2023

U.S. Representatives Back IOA's Efforts to Designate Ombuds as "Confidential Employees" Under Title IX

A press release from the International Ombuds Association updates its efforts “advocating for modifications to Title IX’s definition of confidential employees in order to better protect students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders.” Two members of Congress, Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), supported IOA’s position in a letter to the U.S. Department of Education “IOA is proud to take a leadership role in helping to broaden the description of confidential employees to better serve Title IX’s purpose and beyond,” said Ellen Miller, IOA’s Executive Director.

Excerpt from the press release:
“Ombuds at colleges, universities, and other schools play a critical role in providing resources to those involved in Title IX cases and those considering making a complaint under Title IX,” said Representative Kuster, a founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “I applaud the Biden Administration for their proposed changes to Title IX regulations that will better protect students from violence and harassment in schools, and I’m proud to join with Representative Fitzpatrick to elevate comments from the International Ombuds Association to the Department of Education to ensure various confidential resources can continue to be available to our students.”

IOA’s non-partisan and technical comments encourage the Department of Education not to restrict the number of employees who can be deemed as confidential—particularly in relation to those such as ombuds who already serve effectively on many campuses. The recommended clarifications are intended to ensure confidential resources and mandated reporters alike are clearly and effectively identified as “survivor/complainant-supporting” and “respondent-supporting.”

“These recommendations from the International Ombuds Association (IOA) to the Department of Education’s proposed rule are important for ensuring that all parties involved with Title IX disputes have the resources necessary to navigate these difficult situations,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I am proud to join Representative Kuster in calling for continued improvements to Title IX, guaranteeing that every student in our communities receives the support they need and deserve.”

No comments:

Post a Comment