White House officials prioritize Title IX discussions

RALEIGH — President Joe Biden was quick to announce that addressing Title IX is a priority for his administration.

Students, professors and families have the chance this week to tell the White House their personal stories and push for change.

Channel 9 has shared stories for months of students, including Jasmine Gabriel, who said they were sexually assaulted in college. The victims spoke out to their school’s Title IX office but felt blamed more than believed.

“They literally said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’” Gabriel said. “They made me feel like you shouldn’t have done this. You put yourself in this situation. You got to handle the consequences. That’s how (North Carolina Central University) made me feel.”

The nation’s secretary of education recently visited North Carolina and anchor Allison Latos went to Raleigh to ask him how the White House will protect students.

[Sexual assault victim says law failed to protect her]

“All students need to go to school free of harassment, free of any type of intimidation, harassment, including sexual harassment,” Secretary Miguel Cardona said. “So it is really important that we lift up that issue.”

The White House is holding a virtual public hearing all week about how to make the Title IX process fairer and how to provide students more support.

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Last summer, the Trump Administration enacted new rules for universities requiring live hearings with the opportunity for cross-examination. It also stated that schools are only responsible for harassment that occurred on campus, through a school program or activity.

Latos asked Cardona if they plan to repeal any the changes the Trump Administration enacted.

“We’re going through the process of speaking to our stakeholders,” Cardona said. “We want to make sure at the end of the day, we’re putting in policies that protect all students.”

[LINK: Title IX public hearing]

The public hearings last until Friday.