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Betsy DeVos finalizes new Title IX rules to handle sexual assault on college campuses

Ø  On Wednesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos formally announced the new Title IX rules governing sexual-misconduct cases in schools.

Ø  These rules will apply to the colleges as well as K-12 schools. It marks the first time when the department has set up regulations on the basis of gender equity law Title IX.

Ø  The new rules include provisions that allow the accused of harassment or assault to cross-examine their accusers and examine the evidence. Another provision is that the colleges and universities will need to hold live hearings with cross-examinations of both parties.

Ø  The new rules narrow the definition of sexual misconduct on campuses. The 2011 memo – also called "dear colleague" letter - to the schools by the Obama administration had a broader definition of sexual harassment.

Ø  The department says the new provisions will help to strike a balance that is fair to all parties. "This new regulation requires schools to act in meaningful ways to support survivors of sexual misconduct, without sacrificing important safeguards to ensure a fair and transparent process," DeVos said in a statement Wednesday.

Ø  The assistant secretary of the department's Office for Civil Rights, Kenneth Marcus says the new provisions could prove a “game changer” and would ensure that schools and colleges take sexual harassment seriously, according to CNN.

Ø  Those against it argue that it would discourage victims from coming forward. The President and CEO of the National Women's Law Center, Fatima Goss Graves, say that if these rules become law, then survivors will be denied their civil rights and “will get the message loud and clear that there is no point in reporting assault."

Ø  These new rules are scheduled to go into effect in August.

View Analysis



Left View

DeVos Takes Aim at Old Title IX Rules 

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is undergoing an overhaul of the Title IX law governing academic bodies which basically state, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The conservative perception on the matter is that the Obama Administration committed a blunder in releasing a "Dear Colleague" letter, essentially, in their view, stripping away the rights of the accused to a fair process.

Now we need to be fair; while there is much to object to DeVos' reinterpretation of Title IX, there is also much to agree with. The Obama-era approach caused academic institutions to overreact in an attempt to avoid any potential penalties visited upon them by the previous administration, and a culture of assuming guilt of the accused became the standard. Even the ACLU reversed its initial criticism of DeVos and transitioned into a more conciliatory approach with the current Administration on this issue, acknowledging its attempt to return to a more just position. Everyone should be able to applaud a system that is as fair to the accused as it is to the accuser.

However, DeVos' changes are not without objection. They could very well tip the pendulum in the opposite direction, especially with the narrowing of the definition of sexual harassment and assault to something "severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive", instead of something that makes the victim feel uncomfortable enough to discontinue their academic routine. They would also let off schools from needed to address misconduct if it occurred off-campus. While this seems intuitively reasonable, the fact is that many students live and interact away from school grounds, and their off-campus interactions can still affect their educational activities, hence the complexity of the situation. The new rules would allow the accuser to be cross-examined by a third party representative of the accused, exacerbating trauma and potentially discouraging victims from coming forward.

It behooves us to examine the implications of the new rules further.



Right
Response

As Winston Churchill once said of the Soviet Union, the Democrats are "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” One moment they scream that we should “believe all women,” the next they call for due process, a minute later they flip-flop again and call due process an “added protection.”

The implications of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s revision of the Title IX rules is a win for the justice system on our college campuses. Under President Obama’s 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter, those accused of sexual misconduct were given almost no presumption of innocence and could be disciplined before an investigation was even complete. Also, under the Obama Title IX rules, one untrained college employee would be tasked with investigating the sexual assault claims, acting as both judge and jury.

The new Title IX rules reinstate “innocent until proven guilty,” which is the foundation of our legal system on college campuses. The accused are also given the right to cross-examine the accuser, though not personally, and the investigation will be completed by trained professionals. Sounds good, right?

CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, Fatima Goss Graves, said that "if this rule goes into effect, survivors will be denied their civil rights and will get the message loud and clear that there is no point in reporting assault.” The right to due process is akin to denying civil rights?

The hypocrisy of the Left is once again on full display as Democrats continue to vacillate on the issue of due process. When Brett Kavanaugh was accused, they said it was our moral duty to “believe all women.” However, when Joe Biden was accused, they switched their tune to “due process.” Now that DeVos has unveiled her Title IX revision, it is back to “believe all women.”

On a majority of the issues, the Left doesn’t have hard-set moral standards; they have an ever-changing collection of “rules.” That is because their “rules” aren’t for the purpose of preserving morality; they are there to tear down their opponent.

The rules only apply when they benefit themselves.

Right View

Democrats will really tie themselves into pretzels to win elections, won't they? 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss is absolutely correct in changing the Obama-era Title IX rules. These include more legal protections for those accused of sexual assault, which liberals have turned into yet another idiotic controversy. This is ironic, considering that all their talk of “believe all women” goes out the window when a Republican so much as glances sidelong at Joe Biden (who stops mid-sniff to sweat nervously).

What these liberals refuse to acknowledge is that due process means equal protection and rights in court for everyone, not just people the Left happens to be supporting for the Presidency. For instance, the new rules give college students accused of sexual misconduct the right to face and cross-examine their accuser. Let’s be clear: suggesting that a woman has a right to accuse a man of anything she wants and should not have to face her accuser in court and defend her allegations is sheer, unadulterated nonsense.

These new Title IX standards are finally restoring a presumption of innocence that the Obama administration felt young college men didn’t deserve. Sure, many of them may be guilty, but that does not change a simple truth. In America, you are innocent until proven guilty. Not because it is always convenient, but because in America we stick to principles of honor and justice.

According to CNN, critics argue that these new standards will make victims less likely to speak out. Why, because they will now have to substantiate their story with evidence and testimony before a court? Gee, how horrible. It's almost as if attempting to ruin another person’s life will now be more difficult to do unless it really happened!

It has been amazing to watch the Left tie themselves into a knot trying to be simultaneously outraged about the Title IX changes as well as dismissive about the Tara Reade accusation. Call me biased, but Republicans have once again proved to be consistent in their beliefs about equality and due process, while the Democrats seem to want to split the baby in whatever way gets them elected. Which is more trustworthy, I wonder?

Left
Response

Kimball you talk about the plight of the sexually accused in the United States as if it were some sort of pandemic. It is almost as if over 400 000 people are falsely accused of sexual assault every year. Pardon me I seem to have misrepresented my figure: that’s over 400 000 cases of sexual assault and rape in the United States every year. An analysis showed that roughly 2 to 10 percent of cases on college campuses are proven false every year.

We’re just passing the buck around here.

What isn’t being mentioned about the Obama era legislation is that it was geared towards aiding sexual assault accusers in a time where they were not often heard or believed. This was 6 or 7 years before the Me Too movement happened, years before women found the powerful voice they now have to speak out and to be heard, and which they use to justly cause fear in patriarchal minded people living in the modern world.
Obama thought that by promoting the rights of the accuser, that the imbalance against them may be righted.

And I think based on everything we’ve seen in the last few years we can say that that legislation may have had a significant effect.

And now it seems to some that the pendulum has swung too far in favor of the accuser, making it too easy for people to make false claims for ulterior motives. While this does happen, it is the vast minority of sexual assault reports, and it does not undermine the importance for believing someone who has gone through a truly traumatic experience.

But I disagree with you Kimball on one of your main points; that Liberals don’t understand due process. This is a gross hyperbole. Democrats believe in fair due process as much as any republican, and beliefs in things like that are issues of individual intellect and not of a general association with a political ideology. No honest person should believe that a legal system should favor defendant or accuse, everyone has an equal right to a fair trial.