Sexual harassment and assault on college campuses are a serious issue, just as they are anywhere else they take place. Unfortunately, the procedure for dealing with such accusations at colleges and universities has caused major problems, and now three Democratic senators are seeking to stop a policy to fix that procedure.
Title IX is part of the Education Amendments of 1972 and was enacted simply as a safeguard against discrimination in education based on sex. Today, the provision is used to deal with everything from transgender acceptance to sexual harassment and assault on campus.
As noted by the New York Post, the provision itself did not include the procedures but a “non-binding letter” from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights during the Obama administration made institutions an offer they couldn’t refuse: Deal with sexual violence on campus, or else.
In their haste to comply, many schools implemented procedures that were notoriously unfair and one-sided, preventing even the most basic protections of due process, such as the right to face your accuser or examine all the evidence against you.
These procedures destroyed lives and ruined reputations as the accused, most often men, were not given the same rights they would in a court of law. Furthermore, even when accusations are proven to be false, the accusers seldom face any penalty at all, as The Associated Press reported.
In November 2018, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos proposed changes that would specifically address procedures for schools to deal with sexual harassment and assault to remedy the lopsided procedures, bringing them more in line with the U.S. justice system.
That effort was reflexively rejected by students immediately when it was released, no doubt in part because of DeVos’ status as being a supervillain to the left for her support of charter schools and other reforms that would help students rather than teachers unions.
Know Your IX on Twitter summed up the hysterical reaction with a tweet at the time.
“Betsy DeVos has *finally* released her proposed rules on Title IX, and they’re worse than we could have imagined. These rules would make schools more dangerous and push survivors out of school. It’s time to tell her to keep her #HandsOffIX.”
Betsy DeVos has *finally* released her proposed rules on Title IX, and they’re worse than we could have imagined. These rules would make schools more dangerous and push survivors out of school. It’s time to tell her to keep her #HandsOffIX pic.twitter.com/olWrJ9q8Gm
— Know Your IX (@knowyourIX) November 16, 2018
Apparently, the hysteria continues.
Three Democratic senators — Patty Murray of Washington, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York — sent a letter to DeVos on Tuesday urging her not to go forward with the proposed changes.
“In the midst of the growing outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), while schools are grappling with how to maintain basic services for and supports to their students, it is wholly unacceptable for the Department to finalize a rule that fundamentally will change the landscape of how schools are required to respond to incidents of sexual harassment and assault, and we urge you to reconsider this misguided plan,” the senators said.
They offered no real explanation except coronavirus (they didn’t cite her supervillain status, but given the signers, it’s implied), making it clear that this was as good an excuse as any to block the changes.
Clearly this is just another case of opportunistic leftists trying to use the pandemic to advance their agenda.
Independent Women’s Voice organization recognized this in a tweet Friday.
“Unwilling to let a good crisis go to waste, the @nwlc fired off a missive to officials at the @usedgov demanding that they hold off on releasing new #TitleIX regulations on account of #COVID19.”
Unwilling to let a good crisis go to waste, the @nwlc fired off a missive to officials at the @usedgov demanding that they hold off on releasing new #TitleIX regulations on account of #COVID19. #IWlaw #lawtwitter https://t.co/OkiiRCmPgA
— IWV (@IWV) April 3, 2020
Just as the imaginary “right to privacy” in the Constitution became the basis for the legalization of abortion, the Title IX regulation has been co-opted by radical leftists for their social engineering and punishment of men.
The mantra to “believe all women” sounds noble, especially when considering the possibility of one of these horrible crimes happening to one’s sister or daughter.
But what about the accused men? They’re somebody’s brother or son, and they deserve the opportunity to defend themselves, especially against accusations as serious and reputation-destroying as sexual assault.
The inverse of “believe all women” is “all men are liars.” The last I checked, that is sex discrimination and should itself count as a Title IX violation.
The U.S. justice system assumes that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, but that is not so if the person accused happens to be on a college campus or anywhere else that Title IX applies.
The senators’ efforts to stop the much-needed reform of this policy are unbelievably wrong, both because they wish for Soviet-style show trials to continue and because they’re using the coronavirus pandemic to justify it.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.