ACLU sues Betsy DeVos
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ACLU sues Betsy DeVos over new campus sexual assault rules

By | Rachel Brooks

Staff | Telegraph Local 

See | The New African Living Standard

Above, from Education Department, Betsy DeVos states that “justice is not a political issue.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, sues Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over new campus sexual assault rules in a set of revised federal guidelines. The revisions were reported by NBC initially on May 6 and then developments of the lawsuit were reported on May 14, both by NBC. These new guidelines released under the Trump administration are part of an overhaul that was initially launched in 2017. ACLU states that the new Title IX changes will make it “more difficult for victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault to continue their educations,” as quoted by NBC. 

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The lawsuit proceedings from ACLU have been filed against Elizabeth DeVos in her official capacity as the Education Secretary as well as Kenneth L. Marcus in his official capacity as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Education. 

The current document’s introduction, retrieved from Ed.gov,  proceeds as follows: 

Note: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. This document has been sent to the Office of the Federal Register but has not yet been scheduled for publication.

 4000-01-U DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Part 106 [Docket ID ED-2018-OCR-0064] RIN 1870-AA14 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance AGENCY: Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education. ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education amends the regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). The final regulations specify how recipients of Federal financial assistance covered by Title IX, including elementary and secondary schools as well as postsecondary institutions, (hereinafter collectively referred to as “recipients” or “schools”), must respond to allegations of sexual harassment consistent with Title IX’s prohibition against sex discrimination. These regulations are intended to effectuate Title IX’s prohibition against sex discrimination by requiring recipients to address sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination in education programs or activities. The final regulations obligate recipients to respond promptly and supportively to persons alleged to be victimized by sexual harassment, resolve allegations of sexual harassment promptly and accurately under a predictable, fair grievance process that provides due process protections to alleged victims and alleged perpetrators of sexual harassment, and effectively implement remedies for victims…” 

The Hill has since reported the outrage that the Betsy DeVos controversy has caused. The Hill noted that Ria Tabacco Mar, director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights project, released an official statement expressing her ire over the situation. 

“Betsy DeVos has created a double standard that is devastating for survivors of sexual harassment and assault, who are overwhelmingly women and girls. We are suing to make sure this double standard never takes effect,” said Mar, as quoted by The Hill. 

On the other side of the argument, Reason magazine reports that the ACLU’s lawsuit is a motion against regulations that support due process of the law. Reason cited a recent ACLU statement that appeared to be self-contradictory. 

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“Sexual harassment and assault have no place in our schools. Federal law imposes obligations on schools to make sure that’s the case. Students shouldn’t have to jump through hoops just to report abuse,” said the ACLU in a recent press release, as quoted by Reason. 

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