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Betsy Devos Plans to End Title IX Campus Rape Guidelines
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Betsy DeVos

Summary: On Thursday, Betsy DeVos said she would rescind the 2011 Title XI college rape guidelines. 

Betsy DeVos told CBS News that she wanted to end President Barack Obama’s 2011 campus rape allegation guidelines. The Department of Education Secretary has made men’s rights one of her main platforms, and it appears that she is ready to start making some changes.


“We’ve begun the process to [rescind],” DeVos said to CBS News’ Jan Crawford on Thursday night. “And as I’ve said earlier, in all of this discussion, it really is a process, not an event but it is the intention to move beyond that and move towards a better way. The process is an extended one, but it is the intention to revoke or rescind the previous guidance around this.”

In 2011, the Obama administration issued a letter to universities with guidelines for investigating and adjudicating sexual assault cases. The letter was sent to more than 7,000 universities that receive federal funding, and the guidelines lowered the standard of proof for accusers. They also allowed accusers to appeal not-guilty rulings and withheld funding from noncompliant schools, according to Fox News. 

Opponents of the guidelines said that they disregarded due process and harmed innocent male students accused of sexual assault. DeVos said she was developing guidelines that would protect sexual assault victims as well as ensure fair hearings for the accused. She stated that she wanted to listen to the public for their opinions on how to revise Title IX.

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“The truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students. Survivors, victims of a lack of due process, and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved,” DeVos said.

Obama’s guidelines were heralded by victims rights groups, but it became controversial when defenders of the accused students said that they resulted in unjust findings without due process.

A spokeswoman for Betsy Devos, Liz Hill, told Buzzfeed that the 2011 guidelines will be replaced but there is no timeline yet.

Before DeVos made this decision, she had met with men’s right activists and sparked alarm from victim’s rights groups that suspected she would rescind the guidelines. In July, 20 attorneys general sent the businesswoman turned Education Secretary a warning to keep campus rape policies as is.

“While we recognize that there is a great deal more that can be done to protect students and agree on the importance of ensuring that investigations are conducted fairly, a rushed, poorly-considered effort to roll back current policies sends precisely the wrong message to all students,” the attorneys general demand letter stated. “Yet there is every indication that is exactly the approach your Department is taking.”

What do you think of the Title XI guidelines? Let us know in the comments below.


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