Dear Governor Brown,
I am a long time California resident, attorney and Co President of Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE), a nonprofit formed to provide support and advocacy to innocent students wrongfully suspended or expelled from their college and university campuses following Title IX disciplinary proceedings.
Today I am asking you please, please veto SB-169.
Do not stop reading because you think you know what I’m about to say, because you do not know the half of what I have seen, and how many times I have been brought to tears by the destruction the Title IX machine has left in its wake.
Most Americans would be stunned to learn how Title IX disciplinary processes are conducted on many campuses, and those who have learned cannot fathom that such Kafkaesque “trials” are allowed to occur in our country, land of the free and fair.
In the past three-plus years hundreds of students and some professors have contacted FACE after experiencing result-driven Title IX disciplinary processes in which school officials have: refused to disclose details of the conduct of which they’ve been accused; denied them access to the very same evidence relied on to find them responsible; refused them the opportunity to question their accusers and witnesses; relied on hearsay and other evidence inadmissible in any other adjudicatory arena; ignored their lack of harmful intent or good faith beliefs; and dispensed with any presumption that the student may actually be innocent.
Denied the protections which normally accompany the use of the required (under California law) preponderance standard of evidence, innocent students are routinely found “more likely than not” to have committed what, more often than not, is not a crime, but a technical violation of the school’s conduct code. For this they earn lengthy suspensions or expulsions.
Though FACE representatives met personally with the SB-169’s sponsor Sen. Jackson, the Senator refused to acknowledge or even consider that students most tragically affected by these one-sided proceedings are the underserved, minorities and scholarship students, most of whom have worked diligently to rise above the circumstances into which they were born.
When faced with Title IX investigations, these innocent students believed the advice, variations of which they’ve heard their entire lives, that they should “just tell the truth and you’ll be fine.”
Unfortunately, these young students – often just 18 or 19 years old – are blindsided by experienced campus attorneys and administrators who effectively act as their prosecutor, compiling evidence and testimony only to establish their guilt, while denying them access to an equivalently experienced advocate or attorney because their families do not have the resources to retain one. Imagine constructing your own defense at that age. The consequences of this David v. Goliath farce are students left with no opportunity to complete their education, loss of a promised career and significant loans to pay for a diploma they will never receive.
No wonder an African American mother told me that, to them, “it’s just more of the same.”
Perhaps even more tragically, the foundation on which these students have relied since childhood, the promise of a better future and their belief in the American sense of justice, is destroyed. Disturbingly, many attempt suicide, some successfully, many, many are hospitalized and most suffer significant life-long trauma, PTSD and anxiety. Some have psychotic breakdowns and, in at least one case, a California college student developed schizophrenia, documented to have occurred as a direct result of the traumatic Title IX process he endured at his college.
When will this stop?
When will our representatives realize the lives of our children are being lost, destroyed, permanently and irrevocably changed?
When will our legislators take off their political hats and, as human beings, open their eyes to see the resulting destruction of promising young, innocent lives, not only in California but across this entire country?
Governor Brown, will you be the hero who opens your eyes to help stop this madness?
Cynthia P Garrett
FACE Co President
San Diego, California
Consent, Drinking, & Sex
If you hooked up, and she regrets it you lose. It’s about money and not your presumption of innocence. Get a lawyer fast.
The Title IX Inquisition of today is largely the product of a small group of ideological feminists. The legal case against USC is complex and massive. There are at least nine lawsuits at the Superior Court level, all by male respondents who have contested the fairness of their sanctions. Much of the Title IX investigative/adjudicative power is concentrated in the hands of two highly biased individuals, Kegan Allee and Gretchen Means. The damage caused by their extremist politics is significant. Multiple star athletes have already been ruined by their Title IX policy…The enrollment rate for male students at USC has dropped down to ~45%, an unprecedented low, for 2016-17.
titleixforall.com By John Doe
Expert Carrie Lukas says college crime reports are difficult to examine due to differing definitions of rape, sexual assault. Most university reports adhere to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics’ definition of rape, however, there are instances of administrations making revisions. These divergences and the subjectivity of the term “consent” can be misleading to the public. “We have to prioritize what is preventable and punishable. That means having an actual justice system responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases, and teaching young men and women to take more responsibility and take action that helps avoid bad outcomes.”
freebeacon.com By Rachel Frommer
University of North Carolina football player Allen Artis hit it off with Delaney Robinson. That night they had sex — that is not in dispute. Much else would be though, after she lodged a rape accusation. Most of the case remained out of public view until it was resolved this summer. Police, court and campus documents obtained by RealClearInvestigations, as well as exclusive interviews offer a rare inside look at the complex dynamics of sexual assault accusations and justice on American campuses. They illuminate a dense and murky landscape where the “he said, she said” vagaries of sexual consent are exacerbated not only by drugs and alcohol but politically charged campus rape-response procedures.
realclearinvestigations.com By Ashe Schow
Syracuse University defended an Obama-era crackdown on campus sexual assaults in its rebuke of an expelled student’s lawsuit. Lawyers for the university attacked each of the former student’s claims in a 33-page filing asking a judge to throw out the lawsuit. “John Doe” is one of dozens of accused students who have filed federal lawsuits against their universities. Doe’s lawsuit captures points made in a debate raging nationwide over the way colleges handle murky, often alcohol-fueled sexual encounters.
syracuse.com By Julie McMahon
The University of South Alabama is facing a lawsuit filed by a student who says his rights were violated when USA found him responsible for two reported sexual assaults. The lawsuit alleges the processes USA used to investigate the allegations against the male student relied heavily on “hearsay” testimony, biased administrators and a closed-door hearing led by a panel of improperly trained students and faculty members.
lagniappemobile.com By Jason Johnson
Since 2014, at least four students suspended or expelled for violating MSU’s sexual misconduct policy have sued the university over a lack of due process in how their cases were handled. This 5th lawsuit alleges that there were serious problems with MSU’s investigation, and that key facts that corroborated the accused’s story were disregarded, and that individuals weren’t interviewed under oath and the investigator’s notes weren’t provided to the accused. The accused, who was then a 22-year-old senior, met the accuser in the fall of 2016 through Jack’d, a gay chatting and dating app, according to the investigatory report. The senior invited the freshman to tailgate in October and both admitted to drinking and kissing during the day. Their stories diverge from there.
lansingstatejournal.com By RJ Wolcott
A male student who says he was falsely accused of sexual assault and kicked out of Northwestern University has filed suit against the university, asserting he was discriminated against by university administrators amid a biased investigative process designed only to side with a female accuser he said twisted a consensual sex act into a rape accusation. ‘John Doe’ is demanding Northwestern reverse its findings and expunge his record, allowing him to resume an academic journey that has been “shattered” by what he says were false accusations brought by a female student angry over a breakup.
At many schools, the rules intended to protect victims of sexual assault mean students have lost their right to due process—and an accusation of wrongdoing can derail a person’s entire college education. Many remedies that have been pushed on campus are unjust to men, and ultimately undermine the legitimacy of the fight against sexual violence.
This is the first story in a three-part series examining how the rules governing sexual-assault adjudication have changed in recent years, and why some of those changes are problematic. Read the second installment here.
theatlantic.com By Emily Yoffe
St. Scholastica is facing legal trouble for its alleged response to a sexual assault. John Doe the accused, filed a federal lawsuit claiming the school’s policies state that investigations of sexual misconduct are to be conducted by trained investigators. But Doe alleged those who investigated are experts in educational decisions, not allegations such as this. According to Doe, the woman threatened to press charges if he continued to fight for his rights. Doe claimed he reported this retaliation to the school, and that the school ignored him.