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08th Sep 2017

Betsy DeVos plans roll back on campus sexual assault guidelines

She made the announcement in a speech yesterday.

Jade Hayden

betsy devos

Betsy DeVos has said that she plans to roll back on Obama’s campus sexual assault guidelines.

The US Secretary of Education announced yesterday that her department was going to change the guidelines that had been put in place regarding how universities handled sexual assault cases.

The guidelines had originally been put in place by the Obama Administration.

Known as the “Dear Colleague” letter, they encouraged campuses to seriously investigate sexual assault allegations, or risk losing funding.

Speaking at George Mason University in Virginia, DeVos said that “lady justice is not blind on campuses today.”

“There must be a better way forward. Every survivor of sexual misconduct must be taken seriously. Every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined.”

She also added that the system currently in place is “wholly un-American.”

betsy devos

According to DeVos, the sexual assault campus guidelines have “failed too many students,” as they have been “working against” them.

“There are men and women, boys and girls, who are survivors, and there are men and women, boys and girls who are wrongfully accused. I’ve met them personally. I’ve heard their stories. And the rights of one person can never be paramount to the rights of another.”

This comes after the Secretary of Education met with advocate groups to discuss a potential change to the way sexual assault cases are handled on US campuses.

Many advocates for victims of assault urged DeVos not to roll back on Obama’s guidelines, while some students who had been accused of sexual assault said DeVos’s stance was “uplifting.” 

In her speech, DeVos stated that “one rape is too many.”

She also said that, under the current guidelines, those who had been accused of sexual assault were not granted “due process.”