Betsy DeVos recently announced changes to the Title IX guidelines for sexual assault on college campuses. Twenty-eight Senate Democrats oppose the measure, with one Republican joining in the opposition.
Title IX was initially implemented to ensure that no discrimination occurs on the basis of sex. It has since been expanded, and now infringes on the due process rights of our young citizens attending college. Under Title IX, school administrators have the ability to expel, suspend, or otherwise punish students who have been accused of rape, with no requirement of proof or story corroboration. An allegation of rape is enough to get a student expelled from university or barred from going on campus.
In several instances, students have been cleared of any wrongdoing by police. However, they remain expelled due to the broad powers given to college administrators by this expanded Title IX.
The College Fix reported on Tuesday the broad public support for Devos’s decision. They reported:
Nearly three in four American adults “agree with DeVos’s statement about replacing the Obama-era guidelines on sexual assault on college campuses” – including a majority of “all political parties” – and less than half agree the federal government should be involved in the response to campus sexual assault at all, according to a telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports.
Despite 75% viewing sexual assault as a serious issue, only 47% support the involvement of the federal government.
Betsy DeVos, Title IX, and the “Both Sides” Approach to Sexual Assault | Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker
In short, DeVos appears to be proceeding exactly as an agency head should: give notice, take comments, and explain why a given policy is being adopted. But the intent to depart from an Obama-era policy, which itself did not go through those steps, will undoubtedly garner outrage and dismay.
Betsy DeVos’s Title IX interpretation is an attack on sexual assault survivors | Dana Bolger and Alexandra Brodsky, The Washington Post
The good news is that over the last few years, a tremendous movement of Title IX champions — students and lawyers, teachers and legislators, many of them survivors — have come together to fight for victims’ civil rights. We’re better organized than this administration. And if the Education Department rolls back survivors’ rights, we’re ready to fight them in court, in Congress and in the streets.
Here Is Every Crazy Title IX Rape Case Betsy DeVos Referenced, Plus a Bunch More – Hit & Run | Robby Soave, Reason.com
DeVos cited several examples of colleges putting students through Kafkaesque quasi-judicial procedures. I promise you they are real. We’ve written about them at Reason.
Here’s a list of some of DeVos’s examples, with links to our articles about them.
— The College Fix (@CollegeFix) September 14, 2017
— tigergrad (@Tigergrad85) September 8, 2017
— Hurricane Watcher? (@GodlessNZ) September 12, 2017
As with every decision made by the Trump Administration, there is a major fight over DeVos’s stance on Title IX. As Americans under the protection of the Constitution, we have the right to due process. An accusation cannot be the final piece of evidence in any case. When an entity is given broad powers of interpretation and enforcement, it sets a dangerous precedent. It weaponizes good-intentioned policies.
This shouldn’t need to be said, but I’m going to say it – any rape is horrible. The person committing the rape is a piece of human scum. However, we can’t equate accusations of rape with convictions of rape. We should do all we can to protect our citizens, whether it is protecting them from rape or protecting their right to due process.
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