U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded the Obama administration’s 2011 directive that required colleges to aggressively investigate all sexual assault cases or risk losing federal funding.
She advised college officials across the country to evaluate sexual-misconduct claims by the same standard of evidence they use for any other student infractions until a new policy is developed.
Candice Jackson, the U.S. Education Department’s acting assistant secretary for civil rights, said in an interview that the majority of claims her office handled involved drunken consensual encounters that someone later regretted.
Advocates for survivors of sexual assault fear a retreat on years of progress in which they said they were finally being heard. “It will discourage students from reporting assaults, create uncertainty for schools on how to follow the law, and make campuses less safe,” said Fatima Goss Graves, the president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center.
Twenty Democratic state attorneys general had urged DeVos to keep the old rule.
Boston Globe, Sept. 22