The Corner

Betsy DeVos Targets Title IX Abuse

How often have we had Republican politicians and appointees disappoint us by talking tough but then giving in to the Washington establishment? Answer: many, many times. When Trump nominated Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education, I didn’t get my hopes up too much. Our education system is a huge mess and the Education Department has helped to make it so, but would Betsy DeVos say the right things and then quietly allow the entrenched and overwhelmingly “progressive” bureaucrats to keep on with their various agendas?

We got the answer to that question last week in a speech she gave at George Mason University. In it, DeVos targeted the hideous abuse of Title IX (the 1972 federal law that prohibits schools from discrimination based on sex), which Obama zealots “weaponized” (in her apt phrasing) against male students. She intends to rescind the illegal 2011 “guidance” letter from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and follow federal law in having public input before announcing new rules for dealing with sexual assault.

I discuss her speech and the prospects for reform in today’s Martin Center article.

The volume and nastiness of the leftist screeching over this tells us that DeVos has hit a nerve. The truth is that the “campus rape epidemic” talk was nothing more than a political trope meant to help boost voter turnout for Democrats. Forcing colleges to adopt procedures that were meant to maximize the number of cases and findings of guilt was never really about making campuses safe for women. It was about getting Lena Dunham types to the polls for Obama. Reversing course on the expansion of Title IX is a very hopeful sign.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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