Education Secretary Betsy DeVos plans to roll back Barack Obama’s oppressive Title IX sexual harassment and free speech regulations on school campuses as too vague and broad.
DeVos held a summit to understand all perspectives including those of survivors, falsely accused students and educational institutions — both K-12 and higher education.
DeVos said the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students. She said survivors, victims of false accusations and campus administrators have all told her that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved.
“That’s why we must do better because the current approach isn’t working,” she said. “Washington has burdened schools with increasingly elaborate and confusing guidelines that even lawyers find difficult to understand and navigate.”
DeVos stated the current system, though well-intentioned, has led to hundreds of cases in the department’s Office of Civil Rights mostly filed by students who reported sexual misconduct and believed their schools let them down. But she said the system has also generated dozens of lawsuits by those punished for sexual misconduct, who also believe their schools let them down.
DeVos said any school that fails to take a report of sexual assault seriously commits discrimination but added that a school that uses a biased system toward finding someone guilty of sexual assault also commits discrimination.
“The rights of one person can never be paramount to the rights of another,” she said.The secretary claimed even the current definitions of sexual assault and harassment are too broad.
Activists are objecting vehemently in the media and on social media.
THE RULES BANNED SEX JOKES
The Department of Justice under Eric Holder issued extremely broad harassment rules for colleges that were, according to them, an agreement that “will serve as a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country to protect students from sexual harassment and assault.” Their footnotes make it clear that every institution that takes one dollar in funding will be affected.
The DOJ wrote in a letter that “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence.” By including verbal, they are including any speech!
They further stated that “sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as “any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.”
They ruled out all objectivity when they said that objectively offensive has been used as a factor in determining if a hostile environment has been created but that is NOT the standard to determine whether conduct was ‘unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature’ and therefore constitutes ‘sexual harassment.’”
In other words, the conduct, which includes speech, does not have to meet any standard of reasonableness. It simply has to be unwelcome conduct for any reason.
They also eliminated Due Process.
This was very different from past definitions which stated that harassment must go beyond words, views, symbols or thoughts.
Sexual jokes, sexual topics, requests for dates and flirtation all now fall under “unwelcome” if some unreasonable person decides they are offended.