DeVos prepping new rules on sexual misconduct standards for campuses: report

DeVos prepping new rules on sexual misconduct standards for campuses: report

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosTrump admin seeks to roll back Obama-era policy on school discipline: report DeVos to cancel 0M in student loan debt after court loss A sea change for sexual conduct on campus MORE is formulating new policies regarding how universities handle sexual assault and harassment cases.

The new rules would increase protections for students accused of sexual misconduct, reduce liability for colleges and universities and encourage schools to broaden their support networks for victims, according to The New York Times.

The rules would reportedly limit accountability for schools to complaints that happened on campus and were filed through proper authorities. They would also raise the bar legally for proving a school mishandled a complaint, according to the Times.

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The move comes while multiple universities are facing allegations that staff members failed to properly act when made aware of sexual misconduct.

“We are in the midst of a deliberative process. Any information the New York Times claims to have is premature and speculative, and therefore we have no comment.” Liz Hill, press secretary for the Department of Education, told The Hill in a statement.

Last year, DeVos rescinded Obama-era guidelines for universities handling sexual assault complaints. Rescinding the requirements did not have the force of law, while the new rules would, according to the Times.

DeVos claimed the guidelines represented federal overreach.

“The truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students,” she said at the time. “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.”

While the new regulations would preserve much of Title IX, the law that protects against sex discrimination, it would be the first time the federal government codifies how it defines sexual harassment at schools and how institutions of higher learning are obligated to respond, according to the Times report.

The new policy reportedly would adopt a Supreme Court definition of sexual harassment that would pertain to the most severe allegations or for acts that resulted in multiple complaints. That definition would be notably stricter than what was classified as misconduct under the Obama administration.

-Updated 5:15 p.m.