DeVos announces new rules on campus sexual assault, offering more rights to accused

Source: Houston Chronicle - View Original Article
Published: May 06, 2020
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Bias Rating:

74% Liberal


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Sentiments

92% "They were particularly buoyed by the requirement for cross-examination, saying it is the most effective way of ferreting out the truth of what happened ..."
89% "The rewrite of Title IX regulations will probably be recorded as the most significant and lasting legacy of DeVos's tenure as education secretary.""
85% "Today we release a final rule that recognizes we can continue to combat sexual misconduct without abandoning our core values of fairness, presumption of ..."
84% "Her views promoting school choice for elementary and secondary students have stirred controversy since she was nominated to the post, but she has made ..."
80% "She has taken several actions to bolster for-profit colleges, but those moves affect just a slice of higher education.""
75% "It was also opposed by university officials, who argue the new rules will turn their campuses into courtrooms.""
74% "The reality is that civil rights really can't wait and students' cases continue to be decided now, she said.""
73% "This is irrational, unrealistic and completely at odds with the Trump administration's oft-repeated statement to tread lightly when imposing complex new regulations, he said.""

We have listed the top 10 sentiments. More sentiments do exist. Please review the full article for more information.



*Our bias meter rating uses data science including sentiment analysis, machine learning and our proprietary algorithm for determining biases in news articles. The rating is an independent analysis and is not affiliated nor sponsored by the news source or any other organization

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Contributing sentiments towards policy:

92% : They were particularly buoyed by the requirement for cross-examination, saying it is the most effective way of ferreting out the truth of what happened in a situation when students offer different recollections of the same event.
89% : The rewrite of Title IX regulations will probably be recorded as the most significant and lasting legacy of DeVos's tenure as education secretary.
85% : "Today we release a final rule that recognizes we can continue to combat sexual misconduct without abandoning our core values of fairness, presumption of innocence and due process," DeVos told reporters.
84% : Her views promoting school choice for elementary and secondary students have stirred controversy since she was nominated to the post, but she has made little headway in translating them into federal policy.
80% : She has taken several actions to bolster for-profit colleges, but those moves affect just a slice of higher education.
75% : It was also opposed by university officials, who argue the new rules will turn their campuses into courtrooms.
74% : The final regulation bars universities from using a single official to investigate and judge complaints, a popular model, and instead creates a judicial-like process in which the accused has the right to a live hearing and an opportunity to cross-examine accusers.
74% : DeVos hoped to publish the rule late last year, but she was delayed in part by the need to respond to a crush of public comments - 124,196 in all, including a torrent of criticism from universities, advocacy groups, survivors of sexual assault and campus leaders.
74% : "The reality is that civil rights really can't wait and students' cases continue to be decided now," she said.
73% : "This is irrational, unrealistic and completely at odds with the Trump administration's oft-repeated statement to tread lightly when imposing complex new regulations," he said.
72% : WASHINGTON - Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday released a sweeping new directive governing how schools must handle allegations of sexual assault and harassment, granting new rights to the accused and handing colleges a clear but controversial road map to navigating these highly charged investigations.
72% : These regulations, by contrast, affect every school that accepts federal money, which is virtually all of them.
70% : The regulation also provides "rape shield protections," such as a bar on questions about an accuser's sexual history.
68% : In one change, the regulation explicitly adds dating violence, domestic violence and stalking as allegations that must be investigated.
65% : The rule replaces less formal guidance issued by the administration of President Barack Obama and revoked by DeVos in 2017.
63% : D-Va., chairman of the House Education Committee, and Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
59% : The rule explicitly adds dating violence and stalking to the definition of sexual harassment.
59% : "We will fight this rule in court, and we intend to win," Emily Martin, a vice president at the National Women's Law Center, an advocacy group, said Wednesday.
58% : There are limits.
57% : But it otherwise offers a narrow definition of harassment, requiring that it be severe and pervasive, as well as objectively offensive.
54% : The rules give universities a choice about what standard of proof they use in judging complaints.
54% : In a change from the proposed rule, though, any report to an employee of a K-12 school would put the school on notice and require a probe. K-12 schools are also not required to hold live hearings.
51% : Supporters of the rule said it would restore balance and fairness to proceedings that too often tilt in favor of accusers.
51% : DeVos responded that universities knew what was coming and should be prepared to implement it.
50% : This spring's coronavirus pandemic also contributed to delaying the announcement, but critics said the agency should have waited longer or given universities more time before the rules take effect.
49% : The effort has come under intense fire from women's rights groups and Democrats, who said it would allow assailants and schools to escape responsibility, discourage victims from coming forward and make college campuses less safe for women.
49% : But because it is a formal regulation, a new administration could not simply reverse it the way DeVos did with the informal guidance issued under Obama.
48% : He said that implementing something this complex would be challenging under normal conditions but will be extremely difficult with campuses closed.
47% : Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, which represents university presidents, said his group pleaded with the agency to hold off issuing the rules during the pandemic.
47% : Overall, the rules narrow the types of complaints that institutions are obligated to investigate.
43% : That's how it should be, given the stakes."
42% : Schools may choose between "preponderance of the evidence" or the higher bar of "clear and convincing evidence."
38% : But incidents that occur off campus between two students on their own would not be subject to Title IX procedures.
33% : The Education Department also wanted to finalize the rule in time to avoid having it rolled back by the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to scrutinize and overturn regulations passed in the previous months, GOP officials said.
30% : The regulation is scheduled to take effect on Aug. 14.
30% : "The actual effect of its rule will be to erode protections for students, weaken accountability for schools, and make it more difficult for survivors seeking redress," said a statement from Reps. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott.
27% : She said the core of the challenge would be that the Education Department was "arbitrary and capricious" and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, and that the agency has ignored evidence showing that the rules would harm survivors of sexual violence.
27% : The administration feared that passing it too late might allow Democrats to undo it if they win control of Congress next year.
27% : A department attorney added that the rule gives schools flexibility to conduct investigations and hearings remotely and that it covers online harassment.
25% : The Education Department anticipated as much and tried to ensure that the agency strictly followed mandatory procedures.
25% : The final rule also clarifies that universities are responsible for investigating incidents that take place in university-recognized fraternity or sorority houses located off campus, or in other locations, such as an off-campus apartment, if an event is part of a university program.
24% : In its broad outlines, the rules are unchanged from the proposed version released in 2018, though there were some alterations.
24% : For instance, universities will be required to investigate complaints only if they are made to proper authorities.
22% : Still, advocates for sexual assault victims said the provision could subject survivors to more trauma and discourage them from coming forward.
21% : The rules could be undone or modified through legislation should Democrats gain control of Congress next year.
18% : Even before the 2,033-page regulation was released, opponents were vowing to challenge it in court, hoping to halt or at least stall the new rules.
18% : But a school may not use the lower standard if it relies on the higher one for allegations against employees, including faculty members.
17% : Accusers are not required to be face-to-face or answer questions directly from the accused.
8% : On Wednesday, a leading advocacy group for colleges said the decision to implement the rules in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has shuttered campuses, reflected "appallingly poor judgment."
8% : "The cross-examination requirement means that if you're going to accuse someone of a terrible crime, you're finally going to be asked hard questions about that," said Justin Dillon, a lawyer with the D.C. firm KaiserDillon who has represented scores of students accused of sexual misconduct.
5% : The Obama-era guidance was an effort to respond to reports that universities had failed to take these matters seriously and was friendlier to those making allegations.

*Our bias meter rating uses data science including sentiment analysis, machine learning and our proprietary algorithm for determining biases in news articles. The rating is an independent analysis and is not affiliated nor sponsored by the news source or any other organization

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