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Reports from Policy Analysts

Secretary of Education Betsy Devos Vows to Review and Repeal Obama-Era Sexual Assault Guidelines

Submitted On: Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Analyst: Rozema, Robert

In a speech made at George Mason University (VA), Secretary of State Betsy Devos announced her office would review and repeal Obama-era guidelines on campus sexual assault. In 2011, the Obama administration had expanded the interpretation of Title IX to better protect victims of sexual assault on college campuses, citing "deeply troubling" statistics on sexual violence against women as a call for action. In her speech, Devos acknowledged that the Obama policies "helped elevate this issue in American public life," but that the new rules had resulted in a glut of civil rights lawsuits and had denied due process to the alleged perpetrators of sexual assault.  Devos cited a number of individual cases in which male college students had been wrongly accused of sexual misconduct, arguing that the "competency gap" of universities in enforcing the new policies had ruined lives.  In place of the existing guidelines, Devos recommended a range of possible solutions, including partnerships between universities and private law offices or the establishment of regional centers for handling cases.  


Academic Level

Higher Education



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