Phi Beta Cons

Fighting Back Against Education Department Encroachment

In this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call, George Leef discusses two lawsuits that could help to turn the tide of Education Department overreach, particularly in regard to Title IX of the 1972 Education Act Amendments. That provision was intended to curb discrimination against women. Over time, however, it has morphed into a tool that allows aggressive bureaucrats to control a host of university policies, including the handling of sexual assault cases on campus.

One of the lawsuits involves a former Yale men’s basketball player who slept with a female student. Roughly one year later, the female student’s roommate told a Title IX administrator that she’d had a “bad experience” with the basketball player. The administrator urged the female student to file a complaint, but was declined. In a shocking turn, the administrator then filed the complaint herself, probably to “make a statement” about the university’s tough approach to sexual assault. Eventually, the basketball player was kicked off the team and expelled from the university, punishments which far exceeded those of others who had been similarly accused. He’s now suing.

Leef says that this and another case of bureaucratic overreach “will eventually be seen as the high water mark of the Education Department’s assault on university autonomy, at least when it comes to allegations of sexual impropriety. If either or both are successful, in the future college officials won’t have to genuflect to the [Office of Civil Rights’s] wishes and will have to contemplate the costs if they breach their contracts with students and defame them.”

Read the full article here.

Jesse Saffron — Jesse Saffron is a writer and editor for the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, a North Carolina-based think tank dedicated to improving higher education in the Tar ...

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