Get PJ Media on your Apple

Making a Request for a Date Could Be a Federal Crime

Under a new rule proposed for colleges, the most trivial conduct could be considered sexual harassment.

by
Hans A. von Spakovsky

Bio

May 15, 2013 - 2:35 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

Zero tolerance policies have led to elementary students being suspended for playing cops and robbers on the playground.  Now, the federal government is telling colleges that behavior as innocuous as asking a fellow student for a date is sexual harassment and a potential violation of both Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education, and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act.

In a bizarre letter to the University of Montana, the government lays out the rules on how the university must handle “allegations of sexual assault and harassment at its Missoula campus.”  The letter specifically says that it “will serve as a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country.”

The letter comes from the Department of Education and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, which is headed by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, President Obama’s nominee to be the new secretary of Labor.  It is signed by Anurima Bhargava, chief of the Civil Rights Division’s Educational Opportunities Section.  Bhargava was the director of the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund before Perez bypassed career civil service lawyers within the Division and hired her to head the Section.

As PJ Media previously reported in its “Every Single One” series on hiring in the Division, when Bhargava was at the NAACP, she tried unsuccessfully to convince the Supreme Court that local schools should be allowed to assign public students to different schools based on their race.  She told a United Nations Forum on Minority Issues that it was imperative that schools consider race, language, immigration status, and religion in placement decisions.

In other words, the head of the Justice Department’s Education Section believes that schools should be able to discriminate on a wholesale basis –  as long as it is the “right” kind of discrimination.  When she was at the ACLU, she was actually honored for her work opposing state referenda trying to outlaw racial preferences.

The DOJ/DOE letter lays out a legal rule that directly contradicts Supreme Court rulings.  It criticizes the University of Montana’s policy that conduct must be objectively offensive to constitute sexual harassment.  The university policy provides that “whether a conduct is sufficiently offensive to constitute sexual harassment is determined from the perspective of an objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation.”  But the Orwellian letter dictates that the university must institute a policy that defines sexual harassment as “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.”

In 1999 the Supreme Court stated in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education that, for a school to be liable for student-on-student sexual harassment, the conduct in question must be “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it can be said to deprive the victims of access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school.”  Needless to say, one could steer a modern cruise ship through the vast gulf between the actual state of the law and the twisted policy being advanced by the Obama administration’s Justice and Education Departments.

Indeed, the rule that DOJ/DOE is pushing would mean that a single instance of conduct that is “offensive” to only one individual would constitute a violation of the law, even if that individual’s reaction is totally unreasonable.   DOJ/DOE also insists that sexual harassment includes “unwelcome” (not just offensive) conduct that is “verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct.”

The breadth of this new mandate, plucked from the mists occupied only by the most radical ideologues, is staggering.   Under DOJ/DOE’s definition of sexual harassment, a student asking another out on a date could conceivably violate the law if the person being asked out found the question “unwelcome”and somehow believed it was the pretext to a sexual advance or romantic proposal.  Or if a student was taking a health class where biological reproduction was discussed, the teacher might be found guilty of sexual harassment if one student found the discussion “unwelcome,” even if no one else in the class and no reasonable person found it unwelcome or offensive.  In other words, under this definition, the most trivial conduct could be considered sexual harassment.  And, get this — if a university did not take immediate and severe action to punish the “transgressor,” it could lose its federal funding under Title IX.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Why do I get the feeling that it'll be just the opposite for homosexuals? A gay guy will ask a straight guy out or say something sexual, and if the straight guy complains, well, that's tantamount to saying "gay is icky" and that's a hate crime.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I find the liberal discussions and support of abortion and free (to them) contraceptives to be "unwelcome". Can I sue them into bankruptcy?

Also, the sexy, hot girls often actively ignored me. That was very "unwelcome" sexual behavior. Can I sue them?
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
No wonder I quit dating.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
we are not free anymore...

simon jester doesn't like this...
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Keith,
Your correct!~We could get them back,if we'd vote better people into offices.LIz
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please help me understand, are these ideologues the same people who are against all-male schools and in favor of not only mixed sex dorms but also mixed sex dorm floors?

If so, this all seems like a vast conspiracy to entrap male students. As Jonah Goldberg might say - that's bat guano crazy!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
They go even farther with mixed sex bathrooms...
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
you've got to wonder just how many of these affirmative action (un)educated gov. lawyers have been hired of late to dispense this tripe. unfortunately, under this feminist prez., college has turned into a hazardous zone for men.

what college guy knows anything about what college girls want? one guys proposal becomes another guys assault. even under withering fire on all fronts these followers of alinski march straight ahead, arms entwined in full lockstep. shame, honesty, justice, honor and our constitution hold no meaning for them. onward comrades!

parents need to fully research these 'halls of higher learning' before sending them their children to be manipulated and shamed by crazy feminists and marxists.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Billl Clinton must be distressed!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why do I get the feeling that it'll be just the opposite for homosexuals? A gay guy will ask a straight guy out or say something sexual, and if the straight guy complains, well, that's tantamount to saying "gay is icky" and that's a hate crime.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly.

There was a time that it was thought quite magnanimous to just refrain from beating up a gay person. But that is nowhere near good enough to today's gays. They are not remotely satisfied with mere tolerance: they demand enthusiastic acceptance. Not only that, they are clearly working toward an environment where their every whim must be indulged. Anything less will be a hate crime equivalent to murder or worse. If that means they want to flirt with you or even grab your privates, you had better indulge them without a hint of a grimace. If you don't, you'll be deemed a hater and exposed to the full wrath of the law as if you were the living Hitler.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wish I could regard your comment as hyperbole. Sadly, I think it's a solid, sober look at the near future.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
We all know that the male students will not boycott this and turn their backs to the dangerous females,and they won't be keeping their hands in their pockets!
Proper conditioning for the real world just off campus anyway.Perhaps the educators could hold muster each morning just to be on the safe side.Chin up,arms by your sides,stand up strait MAGGOTS!
Wait till they get to divorce court,where they get the full monty.
What degree did you get in College? None,i got thrown out for asking a girl to a movie!
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
But the Orwellian letter dictates that the university must institute a policy that defines sexual harassment as “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” ... DOJ/DOE also insists that sexual harassment includes “unwelcome” (not just offensive) conduct that is “verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct.”

If non-verbal conduct qualifies as sexual harrassment, the mere act of Person A just glancing at Person B might get Person A into a whole heap of trouble if Person B thinks A was looking lustfully or even just wistfully (hoping to get laid presumably). Person A wouldn't need to do or say anything at all and would still be guilty simply because Person B THOUGHT A might be hoping for sex with B.

If this lunacy is allowed to stand, the human race itself - or at least the part of it that follows such rules - is almost certainly going to die out very quickly. No one will dare GLANCE at someone else for fear of getting kicked out of school or worse. The only people that will have sex are the wantonly promiscuous who always want sex and therefore won't be offended by someone expressing an interest in them sexually. Anyone with even an iota of self-restraint will be shut down before they even get started, frozen by the fear of what happens if the object of their affection doesn't reciprocate their feelings.

This is just flat-out INSANE. If there are any people left with even a shred of common sense, I hope they will take this to court and fight it with everything they have. If we're very VERY lucky, perhaps sanity will prevail somewhere in the courts.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's deliberate. It's intent isn't even to stop sexual harassment. It's intent is to make us all paranoid and insecure. That's what evil cults do, make people so unsure of themselves that they don't leave the cult and take all the abuse. "I had it coming to me."
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think you're right. If young people don't know which behaviors will get them in trouble they have no barometer on how to behave and they're a mess. It's kind of like living with a crazy mother.

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's worse than that. One thing you failed to mention is the fact that it isn't defined what "conduct of a sexual nature” means. That can be used to cover a lot, even the 1st movement of Beethoven's 9th. (I'm not making that up.)
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All