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Feds Withdraw “Dear Colleague” Letter

The department of Education has rescinded its “Dear Colleague” letter. Say what you want about sexual assault on campus, or about any crime for that matter, but one of the glories of our civilization is the legal/constitutional protection of people accused of crimes. As the old saying goes, “Tis better that 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man is unjustly convicted.” The “Dear Colleague” letter pressured colleges and universities to trample on students’ civil rights, as the Department of Education details in clear and convincing prose (as always, click on the image to expand it):

Feds Withdraw Dear Colleague Letter1.jpg

Feds Withdraw Dear Colleague Letter2.jpg

Addendum: This summer the College appointed a new Title IX administrator: Allison Lyng O’Connell. She comes to the College with a solid professional background:

Before coming to Dartmouth, O’Connell worked as an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County in Massachusetts. O’Connell, who attended law school at Northeastern University, said she was drawn to prosecution during her time as a law student.

O’Connell served as an assistant DA for three years (from September 2013 to Agust 2016) prior to moving to the College, where she first worked as the Title IX Program Coordinator.

One hopes that she brings with her a thorough understanding of the standards of fairness enshrined in American jurisprudence.

Addendum: The depredations of College administrators in student disciplinary hearings are the stuff of infamous legend on campus.

Addendum: For more background on the abuses inherent in the enforcement of Title IX in recent years, see a recent New Yorker piece, Laura Kipnis’s Endless Trial by Title IX, by Harvard Law Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen.

Addendum: Inside Higher Education reports today on the Department of Education’s next steps in enforcing Title IX:

The department’s Office for Civil Rights will use the new guidance document to assess institutions’ compliance with Title IX until a promised federal regulation dealing with campus sexual misconduct is finalized.

The new guidance from the department grants colleges the ability to set their own evidentiary standard for misconduct findings, to pursue informal resolutions such as mediation and to establish an appeals process for disciplinary sanctions. It also includes language dealing with protections for accused students.

“This interim guidance will help schools as they work to combat sexual misconduct and will treat all students fairly,” DeVos said in a written statement. “Schools must continue to confront these horrific crimes and behaviors head-on. There will be no more sweeping them under the rug. But the process also must be fair and impartial, giving everyone more confidence in its outcomes.”


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