ACLU slams DeVos’s Title IX plan: Changes will make it ‘less safe’ for sex assault survivors

Greg Nash

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ripped Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Friday, saying her department’s proposed change to Title IX reporting guidelines will “make schools less safe” for sexual assaults survivors.

“Today Secretary DeVos proposed a rule that would tip the scales against those who raise their voices,” the ACLU tweeted. “We strongly oppose it.”

“The proposed rule would make schools less safe for survivors of sexual assault and harassment, when there is already alarmingly high rates of campus sexual assaults and harassment that go unreported. It promotes an unfair process, inappropriately favoring the accused and letting schools ignore their responsibility under Title IX to respond promptly and fairly to complaints of sexual violence.”

The Education Department proposed new guidelines for how schools handle sexual harassment allegations by seeking to offer more protections to students accused of misconduct.

The plan would require schools to investigate allegations of sexual assault and harassment only if the alleged incident took place on areas under the purview of the school and was reported to campus officials.

It would also make it more difficult for students to prove sexual misconduct by narrowing the “overly broad definitions” of sexual harassment and would allow students who have been accused of wrongdoing to question their accusers in campus hearings.
A representative from the Department of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Hill on the ACLU’s statement.
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