Title IX: Now What?

Rob Ranco tweets about Secretary of Education Rob Ranco

Rob Ranco tweets about Secretary of Education Rob Ranco

DeVos notably discussed the lack of due process now afforded to accused students throughout the Title IX process on college and university campuses. And she's going to change that.

The news comes the same week that DeVos announced plans to rewrite Obama-era rules on campus sexual assault policy. DeVos blasted the current system as failing both victims and the accused and being too onerous for administrators.

Where the rights of the accused have been violated - and of course, that has happened - that's not the result of the pendulum swinging too far, of schools overreacting or of the government overreaching. That is getting attention all over.

The general commitment toward reducing campus sexual assaults will continue. But DeVos promised to "seek public feedback and combine institutional knowledge, professional expertise and the experiences of students to replace the current approach with a workable, effective and fair system". "Every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined", she said.

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Of the 360 open cases now under federal investigation by that office, five are at Kansas State University, two at the University of Kansas, and one each at Washburn University, William Jewell College and Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is scheduled to visit Johnson County Community College on Thursday. In January, during her Senate confirmation hearing, DeVos refused to say whether she would uphold the 2011 guidance.

Instead, it's evidence of the same old problem of not taking sexual assault seriously enough to fully and aggressively investigate every case without assuming anything or protecting anyone, following the facts wherever they lead and then responding accordingly. "In July, the education secretary met with advocates for sexual assault victims and with advocates for accused students, including some who have been described as "men's rights" activists". After DeVos' statements, it is expected the Department of Education will issue formal changes soon. But the Obama guidelines created a new class of victims: students expelled and branded sexual assailants based on a disciplinary process that deprived them of crucial rights.

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