Friday, September 8, 2017

Betsy Devos rescinds the Dear Colleague suggestion

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos today criticized the previous administration's approach to campus sexual assault, accusing it of imposing a "broken system" that mistreats both accused students and rape survivors.

The Obama-era Office for Civil Rights compelled universities to design sexual assault adjudication policies that have deprived students of due process rights and weakened protections for freedom of expression. In a speech this afternoon, DeVos said her department would revise its existing guidance for complying with Title IX, the federal statute at the center of the effort.

DeVos cited several examples of colleges putting students through Kafkaesque quasi-judicial procedures. I promise you they are real. We've written about them at Reason.

Here's a list of some of DeVos's examples, with links to our articles about them.

1. Stony Brook University

"The current failed system left one student to fend for herself at a university disciplinary hearing," said Devos. "She told her university that another student sexually assaulted her in her dorm room. In turn, her university told her she would have to prosecute the case herself. Without any legal training whatsoever, she had to prepare an opening statement, fix exhibits and find witnesses."

I covered that case here: "College Rape Trials Are Unfair to Men and Women. Here's Why."

2. The University of Southern California

"You may have recently read about a disturbing case in California," said DeVos. "It's the story of an athlete, his girlfriend, and the failed system. The couple was described as 'playfully roughhousing,' but a witness thought otherwise and the incident was reported to the university's Title IX coordinator. The young woman repeatedly assured campus officials she had not been abused nor had any misconduct occurred. But because of the failed system, university administrators told her they knew better. They dismissed the young man, her boyfriend, from the football team and expelled him from school. 'When I told the truth,' the young woman said, 'I was stereotyped and was told I must be a 'battered' woman, and that made me feel demeaned and absurdly profiled.'"

Elizabeth Nolan Brown wrote about that one here: "Star-Crossed Student Athletes Torn Apart By Title IX Witchhunt at USC."

3. George Mason University

"Another student at a different school saw her rapist go free," said Devos. "He was found responsible by the school, but in doing so, the failed system denied him due process. He sued the school, and after several appeals in civil court, he walked free."

There are a few different cases that arguably meet this description; I wrote about one of them here: "Students Had BDSM Sex. Male Says He Obeyed Safe Word. GMU Agreed, Expelled Him Anyway."

4. The University of Tennessee

"A student on another campus is under a Title IX investigation for a wrong answer on a quiz," said DeVos. "The question asked the name of the class Lab instructor. The student didn't know the instructor's name, so he made one up—Sarah Jackson—which unbeknownst to him turned out to be the name of a model. He was given a zero and told that his answer was 'inappropriate' because it allegedly objectified the female instructor. He was informed that his answer 'meets the Title IX definition of sexual harassment.' His university opened an investigation without any complainants."

That can't be true. It's just too crazy, right? Wrong. It happened, and I wrote about it here: "Tennessee Student Accused of Sexual Harassment Because He Wrote Instructor's Name Wrong." And I posted a follow-up here: "UT Student Now Being Investigated for Sexual Harassment After Writing His Instructor's Name Wrong."

5. various colleges

"Too many cases involve students and faculty who have faced investigation and punishment simply for speaking their minds or teaching their classes," said DeVos.

Consider the case of Northwestern University's Laura Kipnis, whose skepticism about rules forbidding sexual relationships between students and professors led to her being investigated under Title IX: "This Prof Dared to Challenge Her Students' Views on Sex. Here's How They Retaliated."

Or the case of Louisiana State University's Teresa Buchanan: "LSU Professor Fired for Telling Jokes Is Latest Victim of College Anti-Sex Hysteria."

Or a case at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where residence advisors claimed that making jokes about Harambe, the dead gorilla and internet meme, could constitute a violation of Title IX: "UMass-Amherst: Harambe Jokes Are Racist Microaggressions, Violate Title IX."

Then there are some Title IX cases DeVos neither mentioned nor implied, but could have easily served as examples of the sort of mania that has taken hold on campuses:

6. Amherst College

A male student was expelled for sexual assault, even though he had credible evidence that his accuser had assaulted him: "Amherst Student Was Expelled for Rape. But He Was Raped, Evidence Shows."

7. Brandeis University

A gay male student accused his ex-boyfriend of sexual assault. Even though the alleged infractions—a stolen glance in the shower, a wake-up kiss—were incredibly silly, the investigator found the accused responsible for sexual misconduct: "Judge Sides with Gay Brandeis Student Guilty of 'Serious Sexual Transgression' for Kissing Sleeping Boyfriend."

8. Colorado State University-Pueblo

An athlete of color, Grant Neal, was accused of sexually assaulting a female trainer—but not by her. When questioned, the trainer said, "I'm fine and I wasn't raped." University officials pointed out that according to Title IX, they got to be the judge of that, not her. Neal was deemed guilty and expelled: "Female Student Said, 'I'm Fine and I Wasn't Raped.' University Investigated, Expelled Boyfriend Anyway."

9. University of Texas-Arlington

A gay male student claimed a classmate, Thomas Klocke, told him to "consider killing himself." The classmate denied ever saying such a thing; according to his version of events, the accuser came on to him and didn't appreciate being rejected. The gay student filed a Title IX sexual harassment complaint against Klocke, who was found responsible. He then committed suicide: "Lawsuit: Male Student Accused of Sexual Harassment for Rejecting Gay Advances Commits Suicide After Title IX Verdict."

Critics of DeVos will say that her plan to reform Title IX is some kind of giveaway to rapists. But it's not. Today, DeVos recognized a basic and obvious truth that every objective chronicler of the college rape crisis already knows: The Obama-era modifications to Title IX utterly failed to bring justice to campuses.


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This is great. Let's contact her at Betsy.Devos@ed.gov and thank her for rescinding the Dear Colleague suggestion. The more of us she hears from the better so let her know today.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Shout out

This is to welcome the Eleven On One blog to the men's rights manosphere. Eleven On One has an activist edge especially with the Ten Questions Proposed to US Senators. I emailed my Congressman and Senators and I invite you to do the same. The more of us that email this list the better.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Kirsten Gillibrand’s crusade for campus injustice

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is furious that the Trump Department of Education is pulling back from Obama-era demands that colleges junk due process in the name of fighting sexual assault.

She and 30 other congressional Democrats last week wrote Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that they’re “extraordinarily disappointed and alarmed” over actions to diminish “enforcement of federal civil rights law.” Specifically, they complain that DeVos has hired staff hostile to the department’s 2011 guidance on how schools should approach campus sexual assault.

False rape charges again expose injustice of campus kangaroo courts

They’re absolutely right about the hostility: DeVos and her team are ending the jihad by the department’s Office for Civil Rights, which was launched at the behest of extremists like Gillibrand and her colleagues.
Behind the campaign was the claim, based on a single study that’s since been fully discredited, that one US coed in five is a victim of sexual assault. In fact, later — and much more extensive — FBI research shows that women on campus are safer than their off-campus peers.

Which of course doesn’t mean that rape (and lesser offenses) don’t happen on campus, but merely that there’s no unique “rape culture” to be fought.

But the advocates still got their jihad, as Team Obama ordered colleges and universities to institute kangaroo courts to handle sex-assault claims — star chambers where the accused typically has no right to counsel, to examine (and so be able to challenge) evidence and testimony against him or sometimes even to know the specific charges against him.

The Democrats’ letter warns that when a school “mishandles an incident of sexual assault, that this is rarely an isolated incident on that campus” — which is certainly true, if your definition of “mishandling” is giving the accused any rights at all.

The lack of due process has schools across the nation facing lawsuits for expelling students on laughable grounds — including at least one case where even the supposed victim insisted everything was consensual.

Of course, Gillibrand is too committed to admit to any excesses: She’s even still a big fan of Columbia graduate Emma Sulkowicz, aka “Mattress Girl” — whose nationally publicized charges against a fellow student have been utterly debunked by extensive evidence, including her texts with him before and long after the fact.

Sexual assault, on campus or anywhere, is a serious issue. Too bad Gillibrand and her allies are set on exploiting it for their own political gain at the expense of basic justice.


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This was written by the Editorial Board of the New York Post not by a fellow MRA on his website which means we are gaining traction as feminism and their followers are losing power,the noose is loosing which means there is hope.

Betsy DeVos' meetings with 'men's rights' groups over campus sex assault policies spark controversy

Following a series of meetings Thursday in Washington examining Title IX sexual assault procedures on college campuses, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is reexamining guidance to schools.

In addition to survivors' groups and educational institutions, DeVos met with "men's rights" organizations, including the National Coalition for Men (NCFM), as well as groups that speak out on behalf of the accused, including Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE) and Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE).

Though the secretary refused to say whether the administration wants to amend directives to colleges and universities, survivors' advocates worry that DeVos' engagement with these controversial groups -- which opponents have dubbed insensitive to victims -- signals a possible willingness to shift the process to the advantage of alleged perpetrators by rolling back Obama-era guidance directing schools to use a "preponderance of the evidence" standard of proof, rather than the higher "clear and convincing" standard, during Title IX sexual assault violence investigations.

"She's meeting with groups and individuals today who believe that sexual assault is some sort of feminist plot to hurt men," said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, who joined other like-minded individuals gathered outside the Department clamoring to keep the focus on survivors.

Natalie Green, online communications coordinator with women's right group UltraViolet, tells ABC News, "In all honesty, we think she should be listening to the survivors first and foremost, not rape apologists."

And Annie Clark, executive director and co-founder of End Rape on Campus, said, "The evidentiary standard in the criminal justice system is higher, and should be, than on campus because the penalties are different."

Asked about the aforementioned concerns, DeVos told reporters at the Department of Education, "today was a time to listen."

"No student should be the victim of sexual assault," DeVos said. "No student should feel unsafe ... and no students should feel like the scales are tipped against him or her."

According to NCFM, FACE and SAVE, who all fight what they claim are false accusations, accused rapists should be afforded stronger due process by schools investigating allegations of sexual violence. Though difficult to measure, researchers from Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts reported that their findings -- published in the Journal of Violence Against Women -- in conjunction with other studies, "indicate that the prevalence of false allegations is between 2 percent and 10 percent."


The false accusation rate for rape is 60%. The reasons given for this false accusation rate: spite,revenge,even boredom. These are the cases where the accuser deliberately lied. This is from a U.S. Air Force study by Dr. Charles McDowwell. From the book The Myth Of Male Power by Warren Farrell.

"It was clear that their stories are not often told, and there are lives that have been ruined and lives that have been lost in the process," DeVos said of these groups representing people they believe were wrongfully accused.

Jonathon Andrews -- a 23-year-old SAVE and FACE volunteer who says he was falsely accused of rape by "homophobic fraternity brothers" after he himself was sexually assaulted -- says the groups just want to ensure all involved get a fair shake.

"Victims for a long time weren't taken seriously, and President Obama tried to correct that -- but some of us think that he over-corrected, to the point where those who haven't committed any crimes, like myself, are at a risk of losing their futures, losing their lives, and being destroyed, essentially," Andrews told ABC News, bristling at "insulting" critiques of his organization as rape-apologist.

"A system without due process protections ultimately serves no one in the end," DeVos said Thursday during a press conference at the Department of Education. "There are substantive legal questions to be addressed, including the evidentiary standard, due process, and lack of public input."

Her meetings come as the Education Department's civil rights chief, Candice Jackson, was forced to apologize for a controversial comment made to the New York Times in article published Wednesday.

The majority of sexual assault allegations -- "90 percent," according to Jackson -- "fall into the category of 'we were both drunk, we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right," she told the Times.


She's right. A lot of times that is what these things are. I'm glad someone is seeing the truth and talking about it.

"As a survivor of rape myself, I would never seek to diminish anyone's experience," Jackson clarified in a statement provided to ABC News. "My words in the New York Times poorly characterized the conversations I've had with countless groups of advocates. What I said was flippant, and I am sorry. All sexual harassment and sexual assault must be taken seriously."

DeVos on Thursday declined to answer questions about whether she agreed with Jackson's 90 percent comment.


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Thursday, July 13, 2017

DOE helps out men

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is using her office to legitimize a misogynist organization that has dedicated itself to defending rapists, attacking female victims of sexual assault, and promoting the conspiracy theory that domestic violence is exaggerated.

Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s secretary of education, is scheduled to meet with a group that has made a name for itself by casting doubt on rape cases, questioning the existence of domestic violence, and promoting conspiracy theories about women.

DeVos is meeting with several groups that have been critical of the Title IX guidance on campus rape. Those policies were put in place by the Obama administration to protect woman on college campuses from sexual assault.

Among those meeting with DeVos is the National Coalition for Men. The group is part of the so-called “men’s rights” movement, which exists to promote misogynist ideas and to continually push back on the fight for women’s equality.

The website for the group’s North Carolina chapter offers legal guidance to accused rapists and publishes photographs of women the group claims have falsely accused men of rape. The technique serves as an intimidation tactic toward victims: If you speak up, you will be exposed and attacked.

Daily Tarheel columnist Alice Wilder noted that the group has “a clear animosity toward feminists and anyone who advocates for an end to gender-based violence.”

The National Coalition for Men has been behind tons of nuisance lawsuits alleging sex discrimination toward men, including one that said events attempting to bring more women into the technology industry were “anti-male.”

Attorney Al Rava, who filed the lawsuit and serves as the group’s press secretary, told a reporter working on the story he would not talk to her, saying, “I do not trust you will quote me correctly or in the proper context given your leftwing, pro-female, anti-male bias.”

Harry Crouch, president of National Coalition for Men, defended NFL player Ray Rice after surveillance video captured him dragging his then-fiancĂ©e after allegedly knocking her out in an elevator. Crouch said, “If she hadn’t aggravated him, she wouldn’t have been hit.”

In the same conversation, he complained about the NFL’s annual breast cancer awareness campaign.
“Football is always happy to put on pink suits to celebrate women,” he said. “Why can’t they have a week, or just one day, where they celebrate men?”

National Coalition for Men even sued Trump National Golf Course in 2011 for promoting breast cancer awareness, arguing that to do so was discriminatory towards men.

The group also whined that the movie “Sully” discriminated against men, because it did not depict women and children exiting the crashed airplane first, as part of a feminist plot.

Crouch told the L.A. Times that men are “disadvantaged in almost every way.”
DeVos is also meeting with SAVE — Stop Abusive and Violent Environments — which has also sided with domestic abusers. SAVE pushed for lawyers to have the power to ask domestic violence victims “detailed, often intrusive questions about the accuser’s prior sexual history.”

DeVos’ nomination was among the most contentious of Trump’s cabinet selections, largely thanks to her demonstrated ignorance of important education issues. Since squeezing by into office, those concerns have been validated by her open hostility toward LGBTQ students, her support for budget cuts helping disabled students, and now, this sad decision to grant misogynists the official blessing of the federal government.


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This is great. A government official meets with MRA's to fix the problem with the messed up Dear Colleague suggestion from the Obama administration and to reestablish men's rights on college and university campuses nationwide. Let's take a moment and thank the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for meeting with our fellow Men's Rights Activists in the National Coalition For Men and SAVE Services. You can contact her here: Betsy.Devos@ed.gov

The more of us she hears from the better so let her know that she has done a service that we thank her for.

Friday, June 30, 2017

DOE reverses dear colleague

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Education (DOE) pushed the "rape culture" narrative — that one quarter of women would be raped or sexually assaulted on college campuses, and that colleges could not trust the police to handle these crimes. This created a perverse system of campus tribunals which denied due process rights to (mostly) men accused of sexual assault.

On Friday, The New York Times reported on an internal memo published by Propublica showing the Trump administration's first steps in overhauling this "sex bureaucracy." The Times interpreted the move as "scaling back investigations into civil rights violations at the nation's public schools and universities."

The memo, written by Candice Jackson, the acting head of the DOE's Office of Civil Rights (OCR), reversed one part of the Obama administration's campus sexual assault policies, but it is an important first step in reforming the system. Under Obama, OCR investigated colleges when women accusers claimed the colleges were too lax on the men they accused of sexual assault.

"Whenever they had an allegation by some student that her Title IX rights had been violated by a college, they would not only look into the particulars of her complaint and fault the college for not giving her what she wanted, but they would launch a systematic investigation going back for years," Stuart Taylor, co-author of the book The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process at America's Universities, told PJ Media.

"They would even pressure the colleges to retry accused males who had been found innocent before, exposing these guys to double jeopardy," Taylor added.

In other words, when a woman complained to OCR that her college was not penalizing the man she accused of rape or sexual assault, OCR wouldn't just investigate her case (assuming that the accused man was guilty). The office would also delve into the college's past, attempting to find previous cases where the school was too easy on accused students.

This practice demonstrated the "rape culture" narrative's insistence on over-exaggerating the likelihood of sexual assault on campus, and pushing the idea that every woman who accuses a man of sexual assault should receive the benefit of the doubt. In fact, almost nine out of ten colleges reported zero sexual assaults in 2015.

This policy was "based on a false assumption that [sexual assault] is widespread in the colleges," Taylor explained. "I frankly doubt that there's more than a handful of colleges across the United States that have systematically discriminated against accusers." His book is full of examples of colleges discriminating against the accused.

The Federal Government's Sexual Reign of Terror on College Campuses
Launching such wide-ranging investigations into a college's past wastes time and precious resources, the author argued. "It diverts resources into university-wide fishing expeditions that are probably a waste of everybody's time at best from cases where there really are big problems."

Taylor argued that these groundless in-depth investigations made it harder for the OCR and for colleges to deal with cases rightly, making it less likely that genuine victims of sexual assault are vindicated. He praised Jackson's memo as trimming this practice so the OCR can focus on more important cases.

"It will work a lot more efficiently for any genuine victims of sexual assault once you do away with using any complaint as a pretext to try to establish broad federal oversight over any university they can get their hands on," Taylor explained.

But the Times also reported a second aspect of the memo — these long-term investigations had reportedly uncovered evidence of racial discrimination in terms of discipline. A DOE investigation found the schools with higher percentages of black students established stricter discipline, and that black students received discipline more than white students.

Taylor attacked this as a red herring on the issue of sexual assault tribunals. In fact, "there is evidence that black men are being disproportionately accused" of sexual assault, he argued. This means less pressure from the OCR on colleges to push rape culture tribunals would actually help black people.

Furthermore, there are reasons that black students tend to receive more punishment in schools than white students, and it's often for the benefit of the other black students.

"My impression is that the Obama administration was under the OCR imposing racial quotas on school discipline on the basis that if black students are more likely to get suspended than white students that must mean they are discriminating against the black students," Taylor explained.

The author attacked this as "a terrible abuse of federal power," because "there is not much evidence of real discrimination." Instead, "there is evidence of disproportionate disruption."

Indeed, Heather Mac Donald, author of The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe, has presented evidence that violent criminals are disproportionately black, so it stands to reason that a disproportionate amount of school disruption may be caused by black students.

But ironically, it may be the good black students who benefit most from the disciplining of disruptive students. "A lot of the kids are in mostly black or all black schools," Taylor argued. "When you put pressure on the school district to keep the disruptive students in class, it's probably destroying opportunities for other blacks to learn."

Where Black Lives Don't Matter — Campus "Rape Culture" Tribunals
So this new memo, far from undermining the DOE and OCR's dedication to civil rights, arguably bolsters that dedication and helps black students — both those disproportionately accused of sexual assault, and those hampered by disruptions in the classroom.

But the day after the memo was published, a former Obama administration official launched a two-year investigation into the DOE and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The investigation attacked DeVos' "repeated refusal in Congressional testimony and other public statements to commit that the department would enforce federal civil rights laws."

Catherine Lhamon,head of the OCR under Obama and now chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, launched the investigation Friday. "I think this is more evidence that Catharine Lhamon is a blinkered ideologue who is all about Left-wing propaganda," Taylor quipped.

"It doesn't surprise me that she's abusing her powers again," the author said. "Based on the public record, I'm not surprised to see her doing something manifestly unreasonable."

Even The New York Times reported DeVos' clear denunciations of discrimination in any form, but warned that "she also believes in a limited federal role in education." As Taylor explained, restraining OCR after the Obama administration's overreach would be a very good thing.

"Not only should the new administration throw out everything the Obama administration had done on the campus rape front, it should also try to undo some of the harm the administration had left in place," the author argued.

Following terrifying stories of accused men being denied the ability to defend themselves, Taylor suggested that the DOE launch "a regulatory proceeding to accumulate evidence that a lot of colleges are now systematically discriminating against males in violation of Title IX in prosecution of campus sexual assault."

Title IX bars discrimination on the basis of sex. It was passed in 1972 to protect women, but after the clear bias against men accused of sexual assault, it should arguably be employed to protect these men.

Judge Rejects "Traumatizing" Deposition that Might Exonerate Amherst Student Expelled for Sexual Assault
"The Obama administration was grotesquely biased against the accused," Taylor noted, who are disproportionately male. While the OCR did not run the campus rape tribunals — which are handled internally by colleges and universities, at the request of the Obama DOE's 2011 "dear colleague" letter — this memo might relieve some of the pressure colleges feel to unfairly prosecute accused men.

"One reason the colleges have been so frenzied about destroying due process for all accused males is that they're afraid the federal government is going to hit them if they're fair," Taylor explained. This memo is the first step in relieving that pressure.

"This is a very good move, and I think it's a sign that more moves are to come," the author concluded.

Given the immediate attack from Lhamon, however, DeVos and Jackson have their work cut out for them. The Trump administration should expect to run into even more stonewalling from Democrats and Obama holdover liberals as it fights to right the wrongs committed under Obama. No one said this was going to be easy.


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