DeVos' proposed campus sex assault rules roil survivors, advocates

by

comment
Betsy DeVos and her boss, an accused sexual predator. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • Betsy DeVos and her boss, an accused sexual predator.

"What is she, Brock Turner's godmother?"

The internet backlash to yet another asinine plan involving Betsy DeVos' Department of Education has been harsh and swift. If you haven't yet heard — a draft proposal being circulated in the agency would give greater rights to students accused of sexual assault and require colleges to investigate only the most extreme cases.



The proposal reportedly narrows the definition of sexual harassment to “unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school’s education program or activity.” The Department of Education during the Obama administration defined sexual harassment as "unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,” including sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal and physical conduct.

"Is ruining lives your version of a back-to-school welcome?" Morgan McCaul, a Larry Nassar survivor, tweeted in response to the news first reported last night by the New York Times.



Others, who support the draft plan, made it about the right to due to process.

Check out the reactions below:



DeVos last year suggested the department was mulling new rules guiding how campuses handle sex assaults when she rescinded Obama-era guidance to colleges. The Obama guidance had instructed colleges to use the “preponderance of the evidence” standard to decide whether a person has committed sexual assault.

Survivors and their advocates saw the move as a step forward, but others said it could lead innocent students to be punished on flimsy evidence.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.