News & Insight

Author: Debbie Osgood

OCR Offers New – and FREE – Technical Assistance In Website Accessibility Issues

With Jonathan Helwink After recently dismissing hundreds of a single complainant’s website accessibility cases due to a lack of sufficient agency resources, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it is launching a new proactive technical assistance initiative to help schools of all types in making […]

  May 17, 2018  |  By    |   On Education

Debbie Osgood discusses Title IX issues on Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien

Debbie Osgood, partner at HMBR, appears on the March 18, 2018 airing of Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.  Debbie discusses balancing the need to encourage victims of sexual assault to come forward while protecting due process for the accused.  

  Mar 18, 2018  |  By    |   On Firm News

Taking Stock of the Key Changes to OCR’s New Case Processing Manual

The U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has unveiled its newly-revamped Case Processing Manual. (Find the Manual here.) The procedural changes in the new Manual are critically important for complainants and recipients, including colleges and universities, involved in OCR’s complaint process.  The Manual, which takes effect today, will govern how OCR investigates and resolves discrimination complaints going forward.

  Mar 5, 2018  |  By    |   On Education

New Resource: 2017 Respondent Litigation Summary Chart

HMBR is regularly invited to discuss the latest Title IX trends at training, sessions, and workshops with Title IX administrators and higher education leaders. We are often asked: What are the courts doing in student respondent litigation? What steps can we take to lessen our risks in this area?

  Feb 19, 2018  |  By    |   On Education

OCR Snapshot – Greater Transparency: OCR Publishes Online List of All Open Cases

The website for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), now includes a complete list of all open cases under investigation at OCR.  Unlike the widely-cited “Title IX Tracker,” which includes open OCR sexual violence cases at colleges and universities, OCR’s new list includes:  all schools and all of the civil rights laws enforced by OCR.  This means that the list includes cases open against colleges, universities, and elementary and secondary school districts and that the issues include alleged discrimination on the basis of sex, race, national origin, color, disability, or age, and under the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act.

  Feb 9, 2018  |  By    |   On Education

Interim Title IX Guidance Released: Making Sense of New Interpretations and Ongoing Responsibilities

With Jonathan Helwink On Friday, the Department of Education released a “Q&A on Campus Sexual Misconduct” along with a letter from Acting Assistant Secretary of the Office for Civil Rights, Candice Jackson withdrawing the Department’s 2011 “Dear Colleague Letter on Sexual Violence” and the 2014 “Q&A on Title IX and […]

  Sep 24, 2017  |  By    |   On Education

Six Takeaways from Secretary DeVos’ Title IX Speech

  With Jonathan Helwink On September 7th, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivered an address regarding the Department’s revised approach to Title IX enforcement.  Announcing the goal of “getting it right” on Title IX, DeVos indicated a new phase of Title IX enforcement.  Here are six key takeaways from her […]

  Sep 7, 2017  |  By    |   On Education

Smart Steps to Take Now to Avoid Title IX Litigation

For those of us who are fans of Game of Thrones, we know that “Winter is Coming.”  The same can be said of federal Title IX policy:  “Change is Coming.”  But as we await further direction from the Trump Administration, change has already arrived in the surge of Title IX […]

  Sep 1, 2017  |  By    |   On Education