Current Title IX Regulations Deny Accused Students Fundamental Rights

Article here. Excerpt:

'April is Consent Month at Oberlin. I think extremely highly of those who work in the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and work to raise awareness about consent and sexual misconduct. However, while we are having these necessary conversations this month, Oberlin must confront the Orwellian underbelly of the national Title IX system: its enforcement.

Until a few months ago, Oberlin, like almost all educational institutions, was bound by the 2011 Obama-era “Dear Colleague” letter issued by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights created in response to public backlash over college administrator sexual misconduct on campuses across the country. The letter recommended that to combat sexual misconduct, schools use the “preponderance of the evidence” standard — which states that the accusation is viable if the evidence is anywhere over 50 percent provable. The standard also enables accusers to appeal decisions and encourages schools to allow accusers to forgo cross-examination. In some cases, accusers can even forgo their own attendance at proceedings. If schools refrained from complying, they would have been found in violation of Title IX and the federal government could consequently and coercively withhold funding. The Obama administration likened its new interpretation to a silver bullet that would help end sexual assault and harassment on campuses.

Good intentions led to bad outcomes, however. The letter also created a system that a California Appeals Court Justice called a “kangaroo court,” and what a federal district court judge appointed by President Clinton called “a practice of railroading accused students.” Further, the interpretation was also made without a public announcement or a comment-and-response period, during which schools could offer feedback. The Obama administration’s sudden and drastic changes even prompted legal scholars of all political affliations to wonder if such a system is actually constitutional in the United States — and they are right to be puzzled. Not only did the interpretation mandate that schools adopt overly broad definitions of harassment, but the Department of Education had seemingly taken White-Out to the Bill of Rights.'

Like1 Dislike0