Former Vice President Joe Biden promised on Wednesday to strip away due process rights for those accused of sexual misconduct on campus reinstated by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos this week.
The new guidelines unveiled by DeVos Wednesday make sweeping changes to the controversial Obama-era Title IX rules that “strengthen Title IX protections for all students,” and are set to go into effect on Aug. 14.
“Too many students have lost access to their education because their school inadequately responded when a student filed a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual assault,” DeVos said announcing the new measures outlined in 2,000 pages. “This new regulation requires schools to act in meaningful ways to support survivors of sexual misconduct, without sacrificing important safeguards to ensure a fair and transparent process.”
Biden quickly declared however, that he would rescind the changes as one of his first actions in the White House.
“It will be put to a quick end in January 2021, because as president, I’ll be right where I always have \been throughout my career – on the side of survivors, who deserve to have their voices heard, their claims taken seriously and investigated, and their rights upheld,” Biden said in a statement reported by The Hill.
Those have shown to be empty words to former Biden Senate staffer Tara Reade however, whose allegations of a 1993 sexual assault were swiftly brushed off by the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee who is denying a search of Reade’s name in his Senate records sealed at the University of Delaware.
“Survivors deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced,” Biden added on the Education Department’s new rules. “Today, Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump published a rule that flies in the face of that belief and guarantees that college campuses will be less safe for our nation’s young people.”
The new federal directive makes a number of changes to how educational institutions must deal with new allegations of sexual misconduct, including live hearings affording the opportunity for the alleged victims and perpetrators to be cross-examined, except in K-12 cases. The new rules coming this fall also require the “preponderance of the evidence” or “clear and convincing” standards of evidence to be applied to university employees in addition to students, while also mandating the final decision-maker in cases be different from the person investigating.