8.7.16 | Tyler Kingkade
Arguing for a higher standard of proof would mean sexual harassment is treated differently than any other type of discrimination, they assert.
A group of more than 90 law professors from at least 50 different universities signed onto a white paper, released Sunday, defending the U.S. Department of Education’s guidance on how colleges should handle sexual assault cases.
Specifically, the law professors focus on how much proof is needed to determine whether a student accused of sexual assault is guilty in the eyes of their college or university.
A “Dear Colleague” letter released by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights in April 2011 was considered a wake-up call for schools to honor their obligation to handle sexual violence involving students under the gender equity law Title IX.
However, some groups have said a portion of the letter ― which told schools to use the “preponderance of evidence” standard in adjudicating sexual assault allegations as code of conduct violations ― amounted to issuing new regulations without going through a legally required process. It’s currently the subject of three federal lawsuits against the Education Department.