Trump Education Secretary DeVos Pressured to Keep Obama 'Rape Culture' Guidelines

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has driven the Left crazy in recent weeks, by reining in some of the worst excesses of President Obama's Department of Education (DOE). On Wednesday, the attorneys general of 19 states and the District of Columbia — all Democrats — sent a letter requesting DeVos return to the debunked and unfair Obama "rape culture" approach on sexual assault. In fact, they almost accused her of endorsing rape — a disgusting political tactic the Left has used to smear due process advocates in recent weeks.

Pointing to specific comments from the DOE Office of Civil Rights (OCR) acting assistant secretary, Candice Jackson, the attorneys general claimed that her comments "communicate to survivors of campus sexual assault that the Department does not take their concerns seriously and that it is not committed to continuing its current efforts to combat this epidemic on our college campuses."

These attorneys general seem to believe that by reversing Obama's policy, DeVos and Jackson were endangering the safety and lives of women on college campuses. Nothing could be further from the truth.

One of the most notorious excesses of the Obama DOE was a 2011 "Dear Colleague" letter sent by the OCR to colleges across America. This letter was not a law, or even an official regulation, but "regulatory dark matter" by which the OCR effectively forced colleges to adopt a new policy — threatening that if they did not, they would lose federal funding.

The "Dear Colleague" letter ordered schools to investigate claims of sexual assault on their own, rather than turning them over to police. It also urged schools to do so with a bias against the accused, under the guise of fighting "sexual discrimination" under Title IX of the 1973 Higher Education Act. This was absurd on multiple levels, because Title IX was never intended to regulate sexual behavior among students, but only abuses by faculty or staff.

But the more sinister side of this "regulatory dark matter" was its effect on students accused of sexual assault. As K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr. explained in their book The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America's Universities, the common statistic — that one in five women are sexually assaulted while in college — is extremely misleading.

According to DOE figures, there are about 10 million women enrolled as undergraduates. If this statistic were true, 2 million of them would be sexually assaulted while at college, which means between 400,000 and 500,000 assaults per year. For comparison, the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports reported a grand total of 116,645 rapes in the entire United States (a nation of 160 million women) in 2014.