Betsy DeVos Signals Rollback Of Obama Policies On Campus Sexual Assault

Betsy DeVos Signals Rollback Of Obama Policies On Campus Sexual Assault

Betsy DeVos Signals Rollback Of Obama Policies On Campus Sexual Assault

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivered a speech Thursday slamming the Obama administration's rules for enforcing Title IX, the federal law that guides campuses on sexual discrimination and violence responses.

BuzzFeed News reported that Biden urged the more than 800 activists to put pressure on their universities to "step up" and continue protections for campus sexual assault victims.

Biden, the original sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act as senator, made combating campus sexual assault a hallmark of his work as vice president.

DeVos was asked in an interview with CBS News' Jan Crawford if Thursday's announcement meant she was "rescinding the Obama administration guidelines".

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Colleges nationwide had to dramatically revamp their approach to Title IX after former President Barack Obama's education department released a "Dear Colleague" letter in 2011.

In a statement following DeVos' remarks, Vanderbilt said staff would "closely monitor the review process" as the education department shapes policy changes.

"Her announcement yesterday sends a very clear leadership signal from this administration to survivors that they don't have their backs, that they are more focused on this tiny percentage of false accusations, which as you mentioned, do not happen often and yet they're treating this as a 50-50 issue", she told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Friday.

"We live in a culture, a rape culture, and victims are blamed, harassed and not believed", said St. Peter.

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Instead, it's evidence of the same old problem of not taking sexual assault seriously enough to fully and aggressively investigate every case without assuming anything or protecting anyone, following the facts wherever they lead and then responding accordingly. Among them was Meghan Downey, 22, a recent graduate from the College of William & Mary, who said she doesn't want the Trump administration to "attribute more validity to the voices of the accused". "With the heavy hand of Washington tipping the balance of her scale, the sad reality is that Lady Justice is not blind on campuses today". Vanderbilt's stance might hold firm in the face of these political changes, but at other institutions, Title IX is the only thing holding administrations accountable.

DeVos notably discussed the lack of due process now afforded to accused students throughout the Title IX process on college and university campuses. The administration's discourse surrounding sexual assault mainly underplays its severity and casts doubt upon its victims. And in the back of every parent's mind, they're also worrying, "Will my daughter be alright?" Wesleyan's Michael Roth said that the Obama guidelines had created a necessary cultural change, ending the period when "men, with impunity, would throw their weight around", sexually harassing and assaulting women. "We will seek public feedback and combine institutional knowledge, professional expertise and the experiences of students to replace the current approach with a workable, effective and fair system".

SMITH: But DeVos went on to add to that her concerns for accused students. About 800,000 immigrants, including tens of thousands of school-age students, are protected under the program.

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