I admit that I didn’t address her concerns about the victims in my original post (that was by design). I have addressed them in comments since. Though mostly in the sense that her understanding of them or the process is hella broken. I admit that I’m sort of being unfair. But I’m a blogger. I’ a cultural critic. I’m not a reporter. And she’s the secretary of education. She’s not even a politician. She doesn’t get elected. It’s not her job to energize the base. This is why the Secys are appointed by the guy elected and don’t run themselves. It is her job to understand these things and work to make them better through implementation of policy decisions. It’s my job to complain about her and make cases for where she is being harmful. And when she misrepresents facts… and when she misunderstands the policies she’s supposed to implementing or enforcing, that’s a problem. Even in the quote above:
“The current failed system left one student to fend for herself at a university disciplinary hearing.
She told her university that another student sexually assaulted her in her dorm room. In turn, her university told her she would have to prosecute the case herself.”
Except that’s explicitly what the Title IX regulations are designed to prevent. Like when Michael Strauss and I were discussing them above, this issue came up. She DOESN’T get to prosecute or confront the accuser and vice versa. Maybe its a problem that there’s no lawyer present, but Devos never addresses that at all. She thinks that the students are prosecuting the case. That’s not what happens. EVER. It’s the exact opposite. There are investigations by the school AND an independent investigation (and possibly trial) by the state. Maybe it’s a problem that there are two issues. Maybe its a problem that there’s not enough “due process” for the accused in the university investigation. But NONE of that has to do with the fact that “Students, families, and school administrators are generally not lawyers and they’re not judges. We shouldn’t force them to be so for justice to be served.” The exact opposite happens.
And yes… these are subtle distinctions in some ways. And yes, maybe lawyers need to be involved in order to hammer them out. I would even entertain the argument that maybe there should be congressional LAWS passed rather than DoE regulations (this is complicated… and not cut and dry… since again…. its about codes of conduct regulations… not the laws… which we do have… but again… she NEVER addresses this at all). So yeah, this is complicated stuff with no easy answers. But it’s literally her job to understand it. And she clearly doesn’t.