In a speech Thursday afternoon, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos vowed to unravel the Obama administration’s Title IX guidelines which trample the rights of students accused of sexual assaults on American college campuses.
Six years ago, the Obama Department of Education decreed sexual assaults were so rampant on American college campuses that it no longer made sense to defend the rights of the accused. Well, not exactly. But it might as well have.
With a “Dear Colleague” letter in 2011, the Education Department informed education leaders that they have a duty to investigate sexual assault allegations and determine the fates of students accused of misconduct, tasks best left up to law enforcement officials.
In the years since, campuses have become hotbeds for miscarriages of justice against students accused of sexual harassment.
Like the student whose educational career was effectively ended because he reminded another student of someone who had victimized her.
In her speech at George Mason University, DeVos mentioned a series of other ridiculous campus attacks on student rights in recent years thanks to the policies.
Like a situation at the University of California where a student was accused of abuse even as the alleged victim repeatedly told officials nothing of the sort had occurred.
“You may have recently read about a disturbing case in California,” said DeVos. “It’s the story of an athlete, his girlfriend, and the failed system. The couple was described as ‘playfully roughhousing,’ but a witness thought otherwise and the incident was reported to the university’s Title IX coordinator. The young woman repeatedly assured campus officials she had not been abused nor had any misconduct occurred. But because of the failed system, university administrators told her they knew better. They dismissed the young man, her boyfriend, from the football team and expelled him from school. ‘When I told the truth,’ the young woman said, ‘I was stereotyped and was told I must be a ‘battered’ woman, and that made me feel demeaned and absurdly profiled.’”
In another example, she recounted how a University of Tennessee student was accused of sexually objectifying his teacher for guessing her name wrong on a quiz.
“A student on another campus is under a Title IX investigation for a wrong answer on a quiz,” said DeVos. “The question asked the name of the class Lab instructor. The student didn’t know the instructor’s name, so he made one up—Sarah Jackson—which unbeknownst to him turned out to be the name of a model. He was given a zero and told that his answer was ‘inappropriate’ because it allegedly objectified the female instructor. He was informed that his answer ‘meets the Title IX definition of sexual harassment.’ His university opened an investigation without any complainants.”
The bottom line, DeVos said, is that the policies have driven schools to throw common sense and basic justice out the window.
“Through intimidation and coercion, the failed system has clearly pushed schools to overreach. With the heavy hand of Washington tipping the balance of her scale, the sad reality is that Lady Justice is not blind on campuses today,” she said. “This unraveling of justice is shameful, it is wholly un-American, and it is anathema to the system of self-governance to which our founders pledged their lives over 240 years ago.”
Despite what already deafening shrieks from leftists would have you believe, DeVos didn’t say the Education Department would scrap the rules altogether. Instead, she plans to re-write the rules in a way that protects basic rights while ensuring that legitimate harassment complaints are taken seriously.
“In order to ensure that America’s schools employ clear, equitable, just, and fair procedures that inspire trust and confidence, we will launch a transparent notice-and-comment process to incorporate the insights of all prties in developing a better way,” she said. “We will seek public feedback and combine institutional knowledge, professional expertise, and the experiences of students to replace the current approach with a workable, effective, and fair system.
“To implement sustainable solutions, institutions must be mindful of the rights of every student,” the education official added. “No one benefits from a system that does not have the public’s trust—not survivors, not accused students, not institutions and not the public.”
The post DeVos signals end to Obama-era scheme which resulted in dozens of bogus rape claims appeared first on Personal Liberty®.
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