Here are key moments from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's announcement September 7 of changes to the process of investigating and prosecuting sexual assault at schools and universities.
DeVos' attack on Title IX is unsafe mostly because it threatens to unravel the means by which campus authorities are effectively able to discipline perpetrators of sexual assault. In his first term, the Obama Administration issued a memo known as a "dear colleague" letter which gave guidance on how schools should handle allegations of sexual assault. She even praised the Obama administration for raising the profile of campus sexual-assault survivors.
DeVos on Thursday announced that she would seek feedback from the public and universities to develop new rules for the way colleges enforce the federal law.
We may soon see significant changes in the way college sexual assault is handled. "We call on Betsy DeVos and the administration to leave this important guidance in place". But most legislators and reporters, much less average citizens, don't pay close attention to issues like the standard of proof or the role of cross-examination-as the administration understood.
"Survivors, victims of a lack of due process and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved", she said at a speech at George Mason University. We are also committed to students' rights to be treated fairly and objectively when incidents are reported to the University.
CU remains under federal investigation for its Title IX compliance after student Sarah Gilchriese filed a grievance in 2013 alleging the university violated her Title IX rights for its handling of her alleged sexual assault. "It does not mean that a person is going to jail, but it means that they could be expelled and I think that's very appropriate". "The truth is, although people don't want to talk about the brutal reality of sexual assault, especially when it occurs in our most cherished institutions, it is our reality, and it must be faced head-on". The department told BuzzFeed News that it has no timeline on when the overhaul process - which will include a notice-and-comment period for the public to submit their suggestions on the topic - will begin, but confirmed that a major 2011 directive will be rolled back.
"One university leader was rightly appalled when he was asked by an Office for Civil Rights official: 'Why do you care about the rights of the accused?'" she said.
She and DeVos aren't unique in their disproportionate concern for the reputation of the accused over rape victims. "And any change that weakens Title IX protections will be devastating". Some said DeVos's changes are the next step toward authoritarianism. In an interview with NBC News, Brodsky said the Secretary made "false equivalencies between the experiences of survivors and the experiences of accused students" and "misrepresented" what Obama intended.
The latest group the administration is appealing to is the unfairly accused, and, in doing so, seems not to have forgotten the men who largely came through for them in November. About 800,000 immigrants, including tens of thousands of school-age students, are protected under the program.
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