Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is reportedly drafting new policies for on-campus sexual misconduct that will protect the accused.
The new policies will galvanize the rights of students accused of assault, harassment, or rape and will decrease the liability of universities and colleges.
Her revisions will also redefine what constitutes sexual harassment and will only hold schools accountable for incidents of sexual misconduct that occur on campus grounds.
DeVos’ revisions come after the administration already dialed back President Barack Obama’s guidelines on how colleges and universities should address and resolve allegations of sexual assault, claiming that the guidelines caused too many false charges and consequences.
“The proposed campus sexual misconduct policies from Betsy DeVos and her Department of Education are just the latest example of the Trump administration turning its back on women and victims of sexual assault. These proposed rules are a blatant and disturbing attack on every student who has experienced or could experience sexual assault or misconduct on a college campus, and they exemplify the misplaced priorities of DeVos and the Trump administration.” — the Democratic National Committee
The New York Times published a draft version of the new rules Wednesday that shows universities and colleges will no longer be required to investigate a complaint of sexual violence unless it is reported specifically to the designated official on campus.
Similarly, schools will no longer be required to investigate incidents that occur outside of school grounds.
Worst of all, DeVos is planning to do away with the Obama-era standard of “preponderance of the evidence” when a victim is attempting to prove their case and will instead replace it with a “clear and convincing” standard of evidence, thereby requiring victims to prove the case themselves before the school is required to take action.
Not only does this put the burden of innocence on the victim in a most cruel and unusual way, but it creates a dangerous precedent that further degrades the female position in the context of the law, the courts, and as respects the treatment of her own body.
And yet, what more could we expect from DeVos and the Trump administration?
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.