Title IX law faces potential changes, panelists discuss rights

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Gender discrimination comes in many forms across the country.

Studies show that 42 percent of women say they’ve faced discrimination on the job because of their gender.

To raise awareness, dozens of people came together today in downtown Lansing to talk about it.

The symposium was called “The Changing Face of Title IX”. It took a look at the laws surrounding gender discrimination and sexual assault and how they might be changing.

The organizers want people to be educated and know their rights.

“People know that, they hear about Title IX but they don’t know what it is, and we need to inform people and talk about,” said Karen Truszkowski, an attorney at Temperance Legal Group, PLLC.

Truszkowski says the Title IX law is often misunderstood.

“It has to do with sex-based discrimination and education, that’s what it’s about,” said Truszkowski.

She says a few potential changes being talked about in Congress right now include offering due process hearings for those accused of sexual assault, and potentially not holding schools accountable for events that don’t happen on school property.

“There’s a lot going on within politics right now and there’s a lot going on within the workforce right now, so it’s just bringing light certain individuals and certain topics that are going on,” said Lemontre Taylor, the publicity editor for the Western Michigan University Cooley Law Review.
 
Taylor was part of the planning committee for today’s panel. Both him and Truszkowski say educating yourself is your biggest defense.

“You get a better understanding of what to do when you’re put in certain situations, you’re comfortable with being in certain situations, and you’re able to cope with those situations when you’re at your workplace,” said Taylor.
 
“Most people don’t know what their rights are and we need to educate parents and students about what their rights are, and how to protect themselves,” said Truszkowski.

This panel comes just hours after Eastern Michigan University wins an appeal in a Title IX case it’s fighting about reinstating the women’s softball team.

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