Sunday, June 19, 2011

Commentary: In Making Campuses Safe for Women, a Travesty of Justice for Men

The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 5, 2011

By Christina Hoff Sommers
American courts take exacting precautions to avoid convicting an innocent person of a crime. It was therefore startling to read the April 4, 2011, directive on sexual violence sent by the U.S. Department of Education's assistant secretary for civil rights, Russlynn H. Ali, to college officials across the country. In an effort to make campuses safe and equitable for women, Ali, with the full support of her department, advocates procedures that are unjust to men.

She begins by describing the "deeply troubling" state of the American campus, where "one in five women are victims of completed or attempted sexual assault." The Title IX equity statute, she says, guarantees students a right to an education free of discrimination on the basis of sex. Sexual assault and harassment violate this right; therefore, colleges that fail to pursue offenders aggressively can be found in violation of Title IX and lose federal government funds. No matter what the local police choose to do, says Ali, colleges are obligated to carry out their own investigation of all complaints.

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