U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Is Sued Again: Women’s Rights Activists Can Take No More

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The U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos is sued again! This time by the victims’ and women’s rights activists claiming her Title IX-related policy roll back makes it harder to prove sexual violence on campuses.

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Source: U.S. Department of Education

Here’s what we know about the legal action at the moment:

  • The official complaint was submitted January, 25th on behalf of three organizations (Equal Rights Advocates, SurvJustice, and the Victim Rights Law Center) represented by prominent civil rights litigators.
  • In September 2017, Betsy DeVos rescinded two sets of guidelines adopted during the Obama administration. The guidelines forced universities to take campus sexual assault more seriously and scale down the evidence requirements.
  • Instead, Ms. DeVos claimed previous guidelines as biased and violating the rights of male students. The Secretary announced the new guidelines to come into effect.
  • In January 2018, the U.S. Department of Education published the database of all pending civil rights cases. Currently, the Department is investigating 773 instances of sexual harassment and 480 instances of sexual violence.
  • The plaintiffs in the legal action against Betsy DeVos are asking the guidance to be rescinded as unlawful.

Reasons for Civil Outrage

The statements made by Ms. DeVos and her acting leader of civil rights, Candice Jackson, catalyzed the legal action. The plaintiffs accused them of being biased and discriminatory against the victims. After making a controversial statement that 90% of sexual violence allegations “fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk’” Ms. Jackson had to publicly apologize.  

In retrospect, this is not the first DeVos’ lawsuit. Trump’s Secretary of Education has had a tumultuous year with a series of lawsuits:

  • In July 2017, 18 U.S. States and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against Betsy DeVos. The lawsuit concerned her ‘decision to suspend rules meant to protect students from abuses by for-profit colleges.’
  • In October 2017, rape culture activists from ‘Equal Means Equalfiled a nonsensical lawsuit against the Title IX-related guidance. However, unlike the January 2018 occasion, that one is suggesting ‘different treatment for sexual misconduct cases than for others.’
  • In November 2017 two student loan borrowers sued Betsy DeVos and student loan servicer Navient. The plaintiffs accused the respondents of languishing loan forgiveness for defrauded students.
  • In December 2017, DeVos hit two similar lawsuits. The Department of Education and its Secretary were sued for failing to process more debt relief claims submitted by students.  

Bottom Line

Seems like it hasn’t been a single month without a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education last year. However, the latest instance of legal proceedings is very likely to provoke a public outcry. The shocking investigation of sexual misconduct at Yale campuses, MIT’s new consensual relationships policy are only a few reactions to what’s going on. And there are more to follow. Evidently, the society’s view of sexual misconduct is changing, so there is finally less room for gender bias and discriminatory policies.   

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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Is Sued Again: Women’s Rights Activists Can Take No More
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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Is Sued Again: Women’s Rights Activists Can Take No More
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The U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos is sued again! This time by the victims’ and women’s rights activists claiming her Title IX-related policy roll back makes it harder to prove sexual violence on campuses.
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