In recent years, critics of the Obama administration’s approach to sexual assault reporting have charged that colleges are denying the rights of the accused. Two lawsuits – one involving Thomas Klocke an accused student who committed suicide, and another about a Cornell student’s attempt – have added fire to the continued debate over how colleges handle complaints of sexual assault. These two cases have been held up as examples of a flawed system that some say should require colleges to rely on a higher standard of evidence in investigating and punishing students for sexual assault.
insidehighered.com By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf
Due Process Rights
Articles relating to due process rights for our College boys
The results of Doe’s polygraph test, in which he truthfully answered as follows: Did [Roe] take her own pants off for sex? Yes. Did you in any way force [Roe] to have sex of any kind? No. Did [Roe] in any way object to engaging in any sex act with you? No…Athletic Trainers such as Roe were prohibited by Dayton from engaging in sexual contact with student athletes. Roe discussed this rule with Doe and explained how she did not honor Dayton’s rule prohibiting Athletic Trainers from engaging in sexual contact with student athletes because she believed she could “hook up with whoever [she] want[ed] to.” Roe had legitimate concerns that she might lose her job as a Dayton trainer because she had violated Dayton’s rule by engaging in [consensual] sexual intercourse with a male student athlete…Dayton and Swinton ignored overwhelming evidence of Doe’s innocence in favor of conducting a gender-biased investigation in violation of Dayton Policies to establish Dayton’s pre-determined goal of finding male students like Doe guilty of misconduct.
Since 2011 more than 150 lawsuits have been filed against colleges and universities involving claims of due-process violations during the course of Title IX investigations and proceedings related to sex-assault allegations. For the young men who file the suits, the civil courts offer a last chance for justice and an opportunity to clear their names. “One day all of your dreams are in front of you and you’re on a path and a trajectory for you to achieve those dreams – only then for it to be yanked from you, totally out of your control,” Grant Neal said. “Basically, every day is a struggle to continue to go on and go forward,” but Neal said he is resolved to continue. “I’m willing to fight to the end and do whatever it takes to seek justice,” he said. “I have nothing to hide. I have no shame.”
washingtonpost.com By T. Rees Shapiro Innocent Accused Grant Neal’s Lawsuit Against DoED
Something is gravely amiss at Drake University in Iowa. According to a recent lawsuit filed against Drake University AND Drake’s Board of Trustees, Plaintiff Tom Rossley (A Drake Board of Trustee Member) claims that Drake selectively chooses which staff and students are deserving of fair and ethical treatment. And in doing so, Drake openly discriminates against their students. According to the lawsuit, Drake’s Board of Trustees engage in vicious attacks against those who speak out for the rights of Drake’s students. Tom Rossley (Plaintiff) was one who dared to speak out for the rights of Drake’s students, most notably for his disabled son.
Here are a few points detailed in his lawsuit below:
Mr. Rossley’s disabled son accused a female of sexual assault at Drake University. This female accused his son of sexual assault. Drake refused to investigate his son’s complaint under Title IX but investigated the female’s complaint. Drake knew this male had a life long language-based disability, ADHD, and anxiety, which had been accommodated in the classroom. But during the nine hour hearing Drake forced Rossley’s disabled son to be his own advocate and lawyer, while denying disability accommodations. During the hearing, the female ‘accuser’ admitted she sexually assaulted the disabled male without his consent. Incredibly after her confession Drake refused to investigate her, and instead found the male guilty of sexual assault and expelled him. He was a senior, and shy of one month from graduating and obtaining his diploma.
Out of concern for student’s rights at Drake University, Tom Rossley (A Drake Board of Trustee himself for 23 years) had informed the Board about Drake’s potential violations of federal law, especially with regard to his disabled son. Board Chair, Zimpleman and Board of Affairs Chair David Miles intimidated and verbally attacked Mr. Rossley, trying to silence him, and told him to step down as Trustee. Upon Mr Rossley’s refusal to step down, they led the charge to remove him as a trustee in July 2016.
Liberty University, five employees and a former student athlete are being sued by ex-LU football player Cameron Jackson, who alleges his Title IX rights were violated, he was defamed by the school and he was denied due process during an investigation into an alleged 2015 sexual assault. The lawsuit claims the accuser and two other LU female students engaged in a conspiracy against the football team, which included two later sexual assault claims that were reported to LU but not to law enforcement, in an effort to get football players in trouble. The lawsuit also claims that LU staff did not protect Jackson from on-campus harassment and such behavior caused him to stop attending classes. The lawsuit casts doubts on the accuser’s charges and alleges Jackson’s accuser acted maliciously and the response of LU and its employees was inept…All schools receiving federal funding must comply with Title IX regulations, or risk losing their funding. LU students received more than $825 million in federal student aid in 2014-15.
newsadvance.com By Josh Moody
Mitchell Abidor’s essay discusses Unwanted Advances by Laura Kipnis…Title IX is being used in circumstances that lack due process to ensure the fairness and safety of outcomes, resulting in what Kipnis likens to witch-hunts. Those accused are not informed of the charges against them; no lawyers are allowed; the adjudicating officer often bases his or her decisions on assumptions about male-female (or male-male, or female-female) relationships. The end result has often been catastrophic. Most alarmingly, lives are ruined based on what a hearing officer deems “preponderance of evidence,” the proper weight of which is determined with no set guidelines. Universities and their Title IX apparatus become a kind of helicopter parent, in the name of a version of feminism that Kipnis does not recognize. “This isn’t feminism, it’s a return to the most traditional conception of female sexuality,” she argues. “What dimwitted sort of feminism wants to shelter women from the richness of their own mistakes?”
jewishcurrents.org By Abidor
When one student accuses another student of sexual assault, what must a school do to make sure its disciplinary process is fair to both sides?.. Nearly everything about John and Jane’s short-lived relationship has become the subject of a bitter, bizarre and high-stakes legal dispute that has dragged on for years. Their story, told here in detail for the first time, is currently binding law affecting hundreds of thousands of students enrolled in California schools of higher education. Their story also marks the first time that a state appellate court has ruled on the constitutionality of a campus sexual assault proceeding since the Obama administration directed schools to take a tougher approach in resolving these cases or risk losing millions of dollars in federal funding for violating Title IX.
politico.com By Lara Bazelon
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is beginning to assess campus sexual harassment and assault practices put in place by the Obama administration, policies which many claim violate the due process rights of accused persons… DeVos met with Georgia state Rep. Earl Ehrhart, who has sued the federal education department over the 2011 guidance which, he says, is “unconstitutional,” citing a lack of due process for the accused. “You cannot make a law just because you’re some bureaucrat that lives in a hole in Washington, D.C., and you have a whim,” Ehrhart said. “When you accuse someone of a crime, a heinous crime, or when you threaten their entire life and career and everything else and threaten to take that away, then it rises to the level of this type of due process,”
breitbart.com By Dr. Susan Berry
Close examination of court records shows how the mandates and procedures from Obama’s government amount to a de facto presumption of guilt. It also shows that colleges are at best incapable of adjudicating allegedly criminal conduct, and at worst hopelessly biased…In 2015, Brown University broadened its definition to treat as sexual assault any “manipulation” that is followed by sex. The school then disciplined a male student for having violated this provision in 2014. As judge, William Smith, observed in 2016, the vague provision could make a rapist of a male student who gave flowers to a female student before the two students had consensual sex…Western New England University found a student guilty of violating a new “affirmative consent” rule – which defines anything other than “a clear, knowing and voluntary consent to any sexual activity” as equivalent to a “no” – that the school had adopted six weeks after his alleged misconduct…an Oregon judge found that the University of Oregon had denied an accused student -who had passed four polygraph tests -a chance to counter the school’s claim that inconsistencies in his accuser’s story had resulted from trauma.
winonadailynews.com By KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr.
For the past six years, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has threatened to revoke federal funding from colleges that don’t use the “preponderance of evidence” standard, which requires only 50.01 percent certainty that a student committed rape. That is too low for the American College of Trial Lawyers. In a report highlighting failures of due process in Title IX investigations, the group calls for use of the “clear and convincing” standard. The report examines multiple areas where colleges are depriving students of common protections in judicial proceedings. They include the right to be accompanied by counsel, ability to cross-examine complainants and witnesses, access to evidence, consideration of partiality, and provision of a written summation of facts and conclusion.
thecollegefix.com By Brian Bensimon