The Corner

Law & the Courts

Wrongfully Expelled Male Student Takes Amherst to Court

Under President Obama, the Education Department in general and its Office for Civil Rights in particular was in the hands of left-wing zealots who were determined to use their power to further ideological ends. OCR officials sent out “Dear Colleague” letters meant to force schools to adopt a system of handling sexual-assault allegations that would yield the greatest number of penalties for male students. Whether they were actually guilty or not didn’t matter. What mattered was keeping the politically useful myth that our campuses are in the grip of a “rape epidemic” alive.

One of the colleges that eagerly complied with the orders from Washington was Amherst. Back in 2013, it expelled a male student accused of sexual assault after a “trial” that was about as fair as Stalin’s purge trials in 1937. Now the “guilty” student is seeking justice in civil court and I write about his case in today’s Martin Center article.

Amherst sought to have the case dismissed but the federal judge who is hearing it rejected Amherst’s motion and is allowing the case to proceed on several counts. Most significantly, he ruled that Amherst had a contract with its students obligating it to follow fair procedures if any were accused of campus misbehavior and that the way it treated this student was far from fair. No doubt it delighted the authoritarians in the OCR at the time since the whole thing was laughably stacked against the accused student, but now Amherst is looking at deep and expensive legal trouble.

The sooner the Trump administration sweeps away the “Dear Colleague” letters of Obama’s OCR and issues “guidance” to colleges and universities that they should absolutely not make sexual-assault charges a way of making an example of male students, the better.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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