Bring better justice to US universities | #Education



As he takes office this month, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is facing no shortage of challenges and controversies. Perhaps the most fraught will be enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

Intended to prevent sex discrimination in education, the law has in recent years become the focus of a heated political battle over sexual harassment on college campuses and a legal minefield for schools and students. Now President Joe Biden has a chance to make things better — not by reverting to Obama-era rules, but by revisiting basic principles.

In 2011, attempting to crack down on sexual misconduct on college campuses, President Barack Obama’s administration issued “guidance” that required schools to overhaul how they dealt with such cases. The new rules, though well-intended, laid out opaque procedures for adjudicating cases and established a low standard for guilt. Any deviation from the guidance could result in federal probes or the loss of millions of dollars in funding.

Although they had no particular aptitude for this assignment, colleges and universities nonetheless responded by investigating complicated sexual-assault allegations — in many cases involving alcohol and conflicting testimony — with little regard for legal norms or the rights of the accused.



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