After days of speculation, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has formally announced that she plans to revoke the 2011 investigation process previously established by the Obama administration concerning sexual misconduct on school grounds.
In an interview with CBS News’ Jan Crawford on Thursday, DeVos explained that it is her intention to rescind the previous guidelines to allow legroom for those that might be falsely accused and that the Trump administration has “begun the process to do so.”
“As I’ve said earlier, in all of this discussion, it really is a process, not an event,” DeVos added during the interview. “But it is the intention to move beyond that and move towards a better way.”
Reiterating her point and alluding to a lengthy timeframe, DeVos told Crawford,
“The process is an extended one. But it is the intention to revoke or rescind the previous guidance around this.”
Although DeVos said she empathizes with rape victims, her strategy behind creating a new system is centered around what she — and other 2011 guideline criticizers — see as unfair due process to those accused.
“One rape is one too many, one assault is one too many, one aggressive act of harassment is one too many, one person denied due process is one too many,” DeVos said in a speech at George Mason University before her interview with CBS, according to CNN.
To put an end to what she feels is an injustice, DeVos intends to create a notice-and-comment process to include the “insights of all parties in developing a better way,” according to CBS News.
However, heavy criticizers of DeVos include former Vice President Joe Biden, who back in 2011 teamed up with former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on sexual misconduct standards that held colleges accountable for proper assault handling by not only responding, but preventing it as well.
In a Facebook post, Biden shared his deep disappointment in the current White House’s decision making by writing, “Sexual assault is the ultimate abuse of power, and its pernicious presence in our schools is unacceptable.”
“Today’s announcement that the Department of Education plans to rewrite key Title IX guidance which works to address and prevent sexual assault in our schools is a step in the wrong direction,” Biden shared on his public page, receiving 19,000 likes and nearly 8,000 shares. “The truth is, although people don’t want to talk about the brutal reality of sexual assault, especially when it occurs in our most cherished institutions, it is our reality, and it must be faced head-on. And any change that weakens Title IX protections will be devastating.”
The former VP, who has been championing for women as early as 1990 after introducing a bill that became Violence Against Women Act, left his final mark in January while still in office with his “It’s on Us” campaign, urging campus administrators to be diligent about ending sexual assault.
But DeVos, whose agenda right now appears to put accusers first and victims second, will include the advice and suggestions of the public as the rescinding process continues on.
According to CBS, while speaking at George Mason on Thursday, DeVos said, “We will seek public feedback and combine institutional knowledge, professional expertise and the experiences of students to replace the current approach with a workable, effective and fair system.”