November 20, 2018

LIES ARE ALL THEY’VE GOT: Activists, Democrats, and the Media Keep Smearing Betsy DeVos Over New Title IX Rules.

With an eye toward restoring a measure of fairness to adjudicating campus sexual misconduct, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced new standards for such procedures on Friday.

Some in the media seemed determine to misrepresent these changes, and are uncritically parroting claims from victims’ advocacy groups who think any attempt to reform Title IX—the federal statute that forbids sex discrimination—is an attack on sexual assault survivors.

The worst example is an article from Abbey Crain, whose article at Alabama.com makes several significant errors.

“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ proposed changes for how schools handle Title IX cases would allow students accused of sexual assault to cross-examine their victim,” writes Crain.

This is simply untrue. The new rules specify that an accused student’s lawyer or support person must conduct the cross-examination.

“The rules would create a higher burden of proof for victims of sexual assault to prove a Title IX violation occurred,” Crain continues, “removing Obama-era regulations that required a ‘preponderance of the evidence.'”

This isn’t quite right either: Colleges may use a higher burden of proof than the preponderance of the evidence, but it’s not mandatory.

Crain then turns the article over to Madeline Anscombe, a victims’ rights activist who claims the changes would “limit ways students who are sexually assaulted could seek justice.”

But the new rules give students more options for seeking justice. The permit accusers who do not wish to undergo the full-court treatment to seek informal resolution, mediation, restorative justice, or any other option that satisfies both parties. “At any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility the recipient may facilitate an informal resolution process, such as mediation, that does not involve a full investigation and adjudication,” the new rules state.

“Activists” aren’t about justice, or fairness.

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