Education Department Reexamines Trump-Era Rules on Campus Sexual Assault

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The Education Department on Tuesday moved forward with plans to revise federal rules around campus sexual assault, paving the way for an overhaul of a polarizing Trump-era policy that President Joe Biden has vowed to reverse, reports the Associated Press. The department said it will formally begin the process to amend federal rules around Title IX, the federal law that forbids sexual discrimination in education. Biden and other critics have said the rules fail to protect survivors of sexual assault and go too far in protecting the accused. Former Education Secretary Betsy Devos’s rules gave accused students the right to cross-examine their accusers through representatives at live hearings, narrowed the definition of sexual harassment, limited colleges’ authority to investigate claims arising beyond campus and reduced schools’ legal liability as they address claims of misconduct.

The Education Department said it plans to issue a document clarifying its interpretation of the 2020 rules, but change is unlikely to come quickly as it took Devos herself three years to finalize her rules through the school grievance process. While the Education Department didn’t identify which part of the rules it intends to revise, survivor advocacy groups want the Biden administration to issue interim guidance that loosens DeVos’ rules and adds protections for survivors.

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