The Department of Education pushed back on 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden’s Thursday promise to reverse due process rules for campus sexual assault.
The former vice president, who faces sexual assault allegations by his former Senate staffer Tara Reade, promised Wednesday to reverse Secretary of Education Betsey DeVos’s Title IX protections for those accused of sexual assault on college campuses. He added in a statement that the protections are the Trump administration’s effort to “shame and silence” sexual assault victims.
Press Secretary of the Department of Education Angela Morabito told the Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday that the rule combats Obama era rules that prohibited due process.
“This Title IX rule explicitly protects survivors and restores due process for all students,” Morabito told the DCNF. “The previous administration allowed schools to treat accused students as ‘guilty until proven innocent.’”
The former vice president said Wednesday that the rule lets colleges “off the hook for protecting students” by allowing colleges to investigate “in a way that dissuades survivors from coming forward.”
“Survivors deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced,” he added. “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.”
Reade has accused Biden of kissing her, touching her and penetrating her with his fingers without her consent.
The rule seeks to provide due process to those accused of sexual assault by narrowing the definition of sexual harassment, requiring schools to produce evidence and allowing the cross-examination of students alleging sexual assault, according to the Hill.
“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 in a statement, according to the Hill.
“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,” she added. “We can and must continue to fight sexual misconduct in our nation’s schools, and this rule makes certain that fight continues.”
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