Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Thursday that she will be reviewing Obama-era campus sexual assault standards in an attempt to "balance" the scales of "Lady Justice."
Under former President Barack Obama, schools were urged to pursue sexual harassment and assault cases under the Title IX anti-discrimination law, a policy DeVos criticized for being unfair and complicated. "Instead of working with schools on behalf of students, the prior administration weaponized the Office for Civil Rights to work against schools and against students," she said, vowing that "the era of 'rule by letter' is over."
DeVos emphasized that while "every survivor of sexual misconduct must be taken seriously, every student accused of sexual misconduct must know that guilt is not predetermined":
This conversation has too often been framed as a contest between men and women or the rights of sexual misconduct survivors and the due process rights of accused students. The reality is, however, a different picture. There are men and women, boys and girls, who are survivors, and there are men and women, boys and girls who are wrongfully accused. I've met them personally. I've heard their stories. And the rights of one person can never be paramount to the rights of another. [Department of Education]
"Any perceived offense can become a full-blown Title IX investigation," DeVos added. "But if everything is harassment, then nothing is."
An estimated 11 percent of students in America experience rape or sexual assault while in college and four out of five female students don't report incidents of sexual violence, RAINN reports. Read DeVos' full remarks here.