But it can’t possibly be the final answer; it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has issued the final rule regarding college/university sexual harassment complaints and how colleges/universities must handle them. Along the way, DeVos revoked with finality the Obama DoEd rule that eliminated the rights of the accused.
It allows both the accused and accuser to submit evidence and participate in cross-examination in live proceedings, and both parties can also appeal a school’s ruling. Victims-rights advocates say the provision for cross-examinations could traumatize those alleging misconduct and potentially keep them from filing complaints at all.
It also allows institutions to choose one of two standards of evidence—”clear and convincing,” or the lower “preponderance of the evidence,” which just requires a greater than 50% likelihood of wrongdoing—as long as they apply the standard evenly for all cases
The victim’s rights advocates objections can be dismissed out of hand—they’ve never been interested in due process or the rights of the accused.
There should be no ability for the accuser to keep appealing until she gets the ruling she wants. A ruling that the boy didn’t do what he was accused of doing should be final.
Too, there should be no choice in the standards of evidence. The accused too often is being charged with a crime or a near crime. The only legitimate standard of evidence should be clear and convincing, and any…guilty verdict…should be required to be arrived at “beyond reasonable doubt.”
Furthermore, there needs to be a better limit on the cases a college/university is permitted to investigate. An outside, unaffiliated party should determine whether the misbehavior being alleged would be a crime. If the determination is that a crime is being alleged, then the matter should be turned over to the police—not the campus police, but the local police or sheriff’s department—for investigation. If appropriate, the case then should be turned over to the local prosecutor. Colleges/universities are not qualified to investigate allegations of crimes.
This rule is far better than the travesty that Obama and his Education Department inflicted on our students. That was a very low bar, though.