Government Laws Are About To Change: Your Child’s Safety May Be At Risk

Government Laws are about to change., your child’s safety may be at risk. Did you know that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted on college campuses?

At this moment, under federal regulation Title IX,  all educational institutions must recognize sexual harassment or assaults that may occur on national campuses .  As a rule, the harassment can occur on or off campus. However, Betsy De Vos, the new U.S. Secretary of education is changing that rule.  Her new recommendation limits sexual harassment and assault to cases that are within “eyesight” of the school.  

Accordingly, DeVos’ rule no longer mandates that educational institutions take responsibility for acts that happen at “non-sponsored” locations.  So, what does that mean for frat houses which are not overseen by schools, but whose occupants are students of the school? Most importantly, the new proposal limits actions within the US.  So, if your child travels abroad for a semester and becomes a victim of sexual harassment or assault by a faculty member or student during their stay, it is not an action within school oversight. In particular, It does not matter that a faculty member is a legal representative of the institution. 

By the way, under the current Title IX law, institutions can be sued if they have knowledge of a harassment case and fail to do anything about it.  Conversely, If an institution lacks knowledge because the action is not within “eyesight”, does that mean the institution is not liable?  Where is our government going with this?

Here is what Betsy DeVos specifically proposes:

  • Rape victims can be cross examined on college campuses
  • To limit and narrow the definition of sexual harassment at K-12 schools and colleges
  • A massive scale back of compliance for schools and universities
  • To minimize and dumb down the standard of proof in evaluating claims of sexual harassment and assault

Burden of proof 

To begin with, Betsy DeVos proposes that the burden of proof in a harassment case use “preponderance of evidence” or “clear and convincing”.

Cross examination

Under the current Title IX law cross examination or mediation is never advised.  However, Betsy DeVos wants to give the accused the benefit of contesting any outcome.  In contrast, the victim can only contest that punishment may not be enough to feel safe.

In conclusion, what makes all of this worse is that Betsy DeVos’ proposal will not be subject to a vote. Her proposal is an enforceable regulation.  For the parents of students the only thing you can do is oppose this enforceable regulation.  Parents talk to your children about their rights  Share this with any parent you may know.

Staff Writer