DeVos to roll back Obama-era Title IX regulations deemed unfair to the ‘suspicious’

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is expected to back Obama-era Title IX rules and new regulations in September.

On January 2, 2017, Matt Boermeester kicked the game-winning field goal for the University of Southern California in the Rose Bowl as time expired, sealing a remarkable 52-49 victory over Penn State.

A few months later, seemingly with the world at his feet, and everything came crashing down when he was accused of sexual misconduct under Title IX.

Weeks before graduation, Boermeester was suspended, then excluded from the campus and from the contacts with his girlfriend, the victim of his alleged assault.

Matt Boermeester kicked the game-winning field goal for USC weeks before you are kicked out of the school after he said that he was “falsely” accused of sexual misconduct under Title IX.


But his girlfriend, Zoe Katz, said that it never happened.

They hired a lawyer to try to clear his name, but the Title IX investigation, which was launched after at least one person saw the two roughhousing on the campus, found the defendant guilty despite the victim’s repeated assertions to the contrary.

“Nothing happened guaranteed of an investigation, much less the unfair, biased and drawn-out process that we are forced to endure calmly,” Katz said.


The Trump-Management is now set to release new regulations, strengthen the protection of students, such as Boermeester, wrongly accused of sexual assault on campus and the reduction of the burdensome and bureaucratic regulations placed on schools, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Under the Obama-era Title IX rules, there was a strong increase of the men who say they were falsely accused of sexual violence on college campuses due to a lower standard of proof for finding negligence as a “more likely than not,” but both the accused and the accusers have complained about the sloppy research and unreliable authorities.

The Title IX law, enacted in 1972, prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in education. It was once seen as a measure to ensure equity in college sports, but after President Barack Obama rejected the “rape crisis” on our nation’s campuses, the Ministry of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued several “Dear Colleague” letters, starting in 2011, directing the college authorities to tackle the problem – and prove on paper they were doing – or risk losing their federal funding.

The Trumpet Administration is set to release their new Title IX regulations on campus sexual misconduct this month, in time for the new semester, and is expected to roll back much of the Obama-era restrictions that are responsible for colleges and universities, and wrongly punished many accused, according to a draft obtained by The New York Times.

Liz Hill, a spokesman for the Department of Education, referred to in the draft “premature and speculative” and said that they are “in the middle of a deliberative process.”


Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, in a speech at George Mason University last fall, called for the replacement of the Obama-era rules for the investigation into allegations of sexual violence on the campus that “failed too many students with a more workable, effective and fair system.”

“Every survivor of sexual misconduct must be taken seriously. Any student accused of sexual misconduct should know that the debt is not fixed. These are the non-negotiable principles,” DeVos said. “Due process either protects everyone or it protects no one. The idea that a school must reduce law to better serve the ‘victim’ only creates more victims.”

According to the draft, DeVos is expected to have a narrower definition of sexual harassment than the Obama administration, defined as “unwanted conduct based on sex that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies a person access to the school, the education program or activity.”

In deciding whether a person committed sexual misconduct, the school may choose which legal standard to use – “preponderance of the evidence” or “clear and convincing evidence’ and OCR would make use of a higher legal standard to determine whether a college violated Title IX.

Colleges will only be held responsible for responding to formal misconduct complaints through formal institutional channels, or accusations that officials have “actual knowledge.” A formal complaint would be made to an official who has the authority to institute corrective measures,” not someone as a permanent consultant.

In a departure from a Obama-era policy, colleges would no longer be responsible for the handling of allegations of sexual misconduct that took place outside the campus, but the ones that happen on campus property and within institutional programs.

In a case that occurred off campus and while the school was not even in the session, something the DeVos regulations would change, Michigan State University charged a student with sexual harassment, even though he had not been charged by local authorities with some form of crime.

Two students referred to as “Nathan and Melanie” in legal documents were already in a romantic relationship, when Nathan his hand under Melanie’s shirt, but 16 months later, Melanie – who was awaiting gender reassignment surgery and now identifies as a man – a formal complaint to MSU officials for the “one-time, non-consensual touching.”

Melanie cited as transgender as the main reason for his coming forward and claimed fear of encountering her ex-lover in the male bathrooms.

Former Yale basketball star Jack Montague, right, is set to make its case against Yale University to the court in the autumn.


The case led to more than three years of administrative investigations, legal costs, and penalties against Nathan.

Former Yale basketball star Jack Montague, who said that he was “wrongfully and improperly” expelled by the Ivy League school after a Title IX sexual misconduct complaint, is suing the school to be readmitted.

Montague claims to be a Yale Title IX officers, in the midst of the pressure to restore Yale’s “tarnished image” on issues of sexual misconduct, deceived and forced by the prosecutor in the collaboration in the complaint – even though it was not the first or only time Montague and Jane Doe, as the woman who was identified in court documents, had consensual sexual interactions or intercourse.

Montague’s case is one of the many, something the draft obtained by the Times refers.

“The lack of clear legal standards has contributed to processes that are not fair to all involved parties, that it lacked the proper procedural protections, and that undermined confidence in the reliability of the results of the research into sexual harassment allegations,” the draft says.

The Voc regulations are expected to require schools to approach for the study under the assumption that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty.

Advocacy groups for victims of sexual misconduct hit the expected change.

Jess Davidson, director of the End Rape on Campus called the proposed changes “a tacit approval of making campuses a safer place to the perpetration of sexual violence, instead of a safer place to learn free from violence.”

They added to our nation “will go back to a time when the rape on the campus was swept under the rug. Let the survivors be cross-examined by a person who has violated, she is downright cruel.”

But Robert L. Shibley, director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and author of “Turning Title IX,” called the Title IX procedure a “kangaroo court” on the campus.

“Going only by what has so far been reported, it sounds as though the proposed rules will go a long way in the direction of the recovery of meaningful due process protection to the campus of justice, which will benefit both the accusers and the accused,” he said.


Caleb Parke is an associate editor for You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke

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