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The Washington Times
The Education Department is reportedly preparing a series of new policies on campus sexual misconduct that aim to protect the rights of the accused and to limit colleges' liability.
According to a report Wednesday in the New York Times, the policies undo a series of advisories made by the Obama administration under pressure from campus activists and feminists.
The Times report said the rules "narrow the definition of sexual harassment, hold schools accountable only for formal complaints filed through proper authorities and for conduct said to have occurred on their campuses."
The rules, which have not been formally adopted, also would reportedly encourage college and universities to provide more support for victims. They would also, the Times article said, raise the legal standard for proving that a school wasn't addressing sexual-misconduct complaints.
According to the Times, these new rules would, after the required public comment period, have the force of law. The Obama administration's contrary "policies" were merely advisory letters that pushed colleges toward adopting the feminist-inspired rules as their own, under the threat of federal lawsuits if they didn't.
The New York Times reported that it had obtained a copy of the proposed rules. Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, said Wednesday that the information was "premature and speculative, and therefore, we have no comment."
Nevertheless, Ms. DeVos has expressed skepticism of the Obama administration's pushing feminist understandings of sexual misconduct, the policies and rules that flow from them, and the resulting campus tribunals.
"The truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students," Ms. DeVos said last year. "Survivors, victims of a lack of due process and campus administrators have all told me that the current approach does a disservice to everyone involved."
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