Education Secretary Rescinds Obama-Era Guidance On Investigating Campus Sex Assaults
By:     -   September 24, 2017   -   Education  -  News Break   -   0 Comments   -   488 Views

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Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, rescinded a key component of government guidance regarding the handling of campus sexual assault investigations.

DeVos’s explanation is that she wanted to afford colleges the freedom to balance the rights of the accused students with the repercussions of serious misconduct. This decision involved removing an important Obama-era action to get campuses to take sexual assault more seriously in demanding that the lowest standard of proof be used in determining whether a student was responsible, as well as the next disciplinary steps to take. Advocates of the accused are getting their wish, as they complained that students, mostly male, were at a heavy disadvantage when faced with a judicial system biased in favor of female accusers.

In actuality, this move would make accusers all the more reluctant to come forward about assaults, as well as create a high level of uncertainty throughout institutions on how to further approach these cases.

DeVos intends to enact new rules following a public comment period to span over the next several months. But in the meantime, colleges may stick with the Obama-era guidance in maintaining the lower standard of proof.

Janet Napolitana, President of the University of California system, which is one of the states requiring the lower standard, issued the following statement:

“This announcement would, in effect, weaken sexual violence protections, prompt confusion among campuses about how best to respond to reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment, and unravel the progress that so many schools have made.” – Janet Napolitano (President of the University of California system and former Homeland Security Secretary in the Obama administration)

 Stay tuned…