New Department of Education Sexual Assault Investigation Rules Spark ControversyMay 8, 2020 |
by Shailaja Neelakantan
The Department of Education on Wednesday issued much-awaited final regulations on how campuses must investigate sexual assault allegations, a development that generated criticism for its timing and content.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said the final regulations under Title IX — which prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded educational institutions — were issued after considering various stakeholder comments and as many as 124,000 public comments since the proposed guidelines were issued in November 2018. In September 2017, DeVos rescinded the Obama administration’s policy guidance on sexual assault in educational institutions. Now, colleges and universities have to implement DeVos’ final rules by Aug. 14.
DeVos’ Wednesday announcement comes on the heels of several calls from academic groups, senators and state attorneys general to delay issuing the guidelines because of campus shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many university groups called for a delay also because they were critical of the department’s November 2018 proposed guidelines, which they said the final rules will closely mirror.