PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Chris Perry

Telephone: 301-801-0608

Email: cperry@saveservices.org

New York Times: Time to End the Campus Witch Hunt

WASHINGTON / September 11, 2017 – The New York Times has published a strongly worded editorial labeling the current campus sexual assault system a “witch hunt” that embodies numerous “travesties of justice.” Written by Pulitzer prize winner Bret Stephens, the commentary invites persons of all political persuasions to view the federal Dear Colleague Letter on sexual violence as an effort to pursue an “agenda through methods both lawless and aggressive.” (1)

Stephens highlighted the experience of one father who revealed, “After my son received notice that he had been accused of rape I went to the top-tier university he attended and in my first meeting was told he should leave voluntarily because there was no possibility that he could ever be found innocent.”

Writing in Politico, Lara Brazelon similarly has decried how “hundreds of schools were placed under federal investigation for failing to be tougher in handling allegations of campus sexual assault.” (2)

On Sunday, the Editorial Board of USA Today expressed support of Secretary DeVos’ plan, explaining, “Sexual assaults are serious crimes best handled by the criminal justice system. The most stringent punishment schools can order is expulsion. That can be appropriate for cheating on a term paper, but not for rape.” (3)

In August, four Harvard Law School professors issued a statement sharply critical of Department of Education policies on campus sexual assault. “While the Administration’s goals were to provide better protections for women, and address the neglect that prevailed before this shift, the new policies and procedures have created problems of their own,” the professors charged (4).

The SAVE report, “Six-Year Experiment in Campus Jurisprudence Fails to Make the Grade,” further documents how campus rape tribunals mistreat identified victims and accused students alike and thwart the search for justice (5).

Citations:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/opinion/betsy-devos-title-iv.html?mcubz=3
  2. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/08/devos-campus-sexual-assault-how-to-get-it-right-215585
  3. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/09/10/campus-rape-justice-needs-due-process-editorials-debates/651016001/
  4. https://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/33789434
  5. http://www.saveservices.org/wp-content/uploads/Six-Year-Experiment-Fails-to-Make-the-Grade.pdf

SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) is working for practical and effective solutions to campus sexual assault: www.saveservices.org