Dozens of college and university students who’ve been punished for sexual assault are suing their schools, saying that they didn’t get a fair hearing and that their rights to due process were violated, NPR reports. The accused students say schools simply are overcorrecting. Columbia, Williams, Vassar, Brown, and other schools being sued by students who say they were victims of a rush to judgment haven’t commented.
Attorney Andrew Miltenberg, who represents about a dozen men suing their schools, says, “I think ‘witch hunt’ is a dramatic phrase, but I would tell a group of young men right now, ‘woe is to you if someone makes an allegation,’ ” Miltenberg says. “This young man was in the wrong place at the wrong time, in the sense that there was an attempt by the university officials to say, ‘Oh yeah? Well, watch how we do this one!’ ” Some rush to judgment is inevitable, says Robert Dana, dean of students at the University of Maine, speaking generally about the current climate on campuses. “I expect that that can’t help but be true,” he says. “Colleges and universities are getting very jittery about it.” To some, the growing number of lawsuits against universities only goes to show that school administrators should not be in the business of playing detective, judge or jury in the first place.