Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke at George Mason University this morning where she announced that her office will rescind Obama-era guidelines on Title IX enforcement.
The guidelines issued by the Obama administration that require schools to investigate claims of sexual assault are too burdensome on the accused, DeVos said, and they will be replaced with... something.
The Trump administration will revamp the guidance through a rulemaking process that likely will take months, DeVos said during a speech at George Mason University in which she blasted the current guidance as unfair to those accused of sexual assault or harassment. She said the administration will give all sides a chance to offer opinions on how it should move forward, but the decision is expected to be slammed by advocates for victims of sexual assault, Democrats and some state officials.
DeVos says schools are committing discrimination if they fail to take seriously a student who reports sexual misconduct.
And she says those that use “a system biased toward finding a student responsible for sexual misconduct” also are committing discrimination.
DeVos suggests that the definition of sexual assault is too broad and that too many cases involve student and faculty “simply for speaking their minds or teaching their classes.”
I honestly have no idea what she is talking about and, from what I gather, no one else does either. No one has been accused of sexual assault, much less convicted, for... "teaching their classes." What the hell is that?
In any case, the message is clear. The Trump Department of Education and the Justice Department won't take Title IX enforcement seriously, if they take it at all.
There have been many high-profile cases in recent years, with Baylor being a particularly astonishing case, of school officials systematically covering up or refusing to investigate serious accusations of rape and sexual assault. Fraudulent accusations are very rare and prosecution of perpetrators is even more rare than that.
The overwhelming majority of sexual assaults in America go unreported and are never even investigated or prosecuted. Even with those statistics in mind, Betsy DeVos believes our woefully inadequate policies are still too hard on the accused and the officials who cover for them.