DeVos ends Obama-era rule on campus sex assault cases
by Leigh Jones
Posted 9/07/17, 01:19 pm
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced an end to Obama-era guidance on college sexual assault cases during a speech Thursday at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. During her predecessor’s tenure, the Department of Education ordered colleges and universities to expand processes for investigating claims of sexual assault and punishing alleged perpetrators. Critics said it denied due process rights to those accused and set a significantly lower bar for proof than prosecutors must meet in a court of law. Schools that didn’t follow the Obama-era rule faced the loss of federal funding. “Instead of working with schools on behalf of students, the prior administration weaponized the Office for Civil Rights to work against schools and against students,” DeVos said. Education Department officials will draft new rules after holding a public comment period and talking to university and college leaders. The Obama administration did not follow the normal rule-making process, mandating the new policy in a “dear colleague” letter to administrators. “The era of ‘rule by letter’ is over,” DeVos said.
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Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.