Betsy DeVos' Proposed Title IX Provisions Proves That She Doesn't Care About Survivors of Sexual Violence

Betsy DeVos' Proposed Title IX Provisions Proves That She Doesn't Care About Survivors of Sexual Violence

No student should have to constantly worry about the very real possibility of being sexually assaulted while at school.

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It is a well-known fact that college students are at an increased risk of being sexually assaulted, so it would make sense for the Department of Education to do everything in their power to protect college students. However, this is the exact opposite of what is actually happening.

Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, has proven through her suggested Title IX guidelines that she does not care about the wellbeing of students. Title IX is a federal civil rights law that is meant to make sure there is gender equality in educational institutions. DeVos' suggested provisions would specifically target students that are survivors of sexual assault and make it much harder for them to get the justice that they deserve.

These suggested guidelines want to make the definition of sexual misconduct more extreme so that it forces students to have to wait longer to report the harassment they have been facing. The new definition of sexual misconduct would be

"unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient's education program or activity."

Students should not be told that the behavior of their harassers does not warrant the label of sexual misconduct because it has not happened at a high enough frequency or because it has not been damaging enough. Sexual harassment should not happen in any capacity. It is dangerous to give students no option but to wait until the harassment has become unbearable in order for someone to finally help them.

To make matters even worse, survivors have to report directly to the school's Title IX coordinator in order to receive help and protection from their school. I know that some of you may hear this and say "Well, duh, you have to talk to the people in charge of Title IX in order to get them to take action." However, this is not fair to the survivors. It takes an immense amount of courage and strength to say that you have experienced sexual violence, and the Title IX coordinator may not be the person that the student trusts enough to share their story.

Even if a student does decide to report the sex crime to a Title IX coordinator, their abuser may not even be found guilty if the evidence that is presented is not "clear and convincing." This higher standard of evidence for Title IX cases only harms the survivors by having them treated "more harshly than victims of other discriminatory campus crimes."

And according to DeVos' proposed guidelines, if a student experienced assault or harassment outside of the school's campus, then the school is no longer held responsible. Even though most forms of sexual violence take place at off-campus bars and housing, the school would no longer be under any obligation to rectify the situation. Instead of making the students best interest a priority, DeVos has made saving schools money a priority by lowering their amount of sexual misconduct cases.

The most horrifying part of all of the suggested provisions is that it would provide more protections for the people accused of sexual misconduct. They would be able to "participate in a live cross-examination of the alleged victim through a third party (although this does not apply fully to K-12 incidents)."

It is disgusting that this is even a possibility. This guideline was only created because of the ridiculous belief that most men are victims of false rape accusations. DeVos is a supporter of this belief even though it has been proven to be false. The number of rape accusations that are false fall between 2-10%. However, only 35% of all sexual assaults get reported. This means that there are even more people suffering in silence than there are men that have to face a false accusation. And in case you are asking yourself why those survivors do not come forward, it is because of people like DeVos that encourage the delusions of men's rights activists.

Without fail, society shows survivors of sexual assault just how little they care about their experiences because of the mistreatment that survivors have faced when they did come forward. They are called liars and whores and often face death threats. Why would this behavior encourage anyone to share their story? Why would anyone put themselves through that abuse just to give a false accusation?

DeVos' proposed guidelines further encourage men to sexually harass, assault, and rape women because now they know they would have the full support of their school if they were accused of sexual misconduct. No student should have to constantly worry about the very real possibility of being sexually assaulted while at school. We are the future of our nation and it is about time that we are treated with the respect that we deserve.

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8 Things You Should Never Say To An Education Major

"Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"
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Yes, I'm an Education major, and yes, I love it. Your opinion of the field won't change my mind about my future. If you ever happen to come across an Education major, make sure you steer clear of saying these things, or they might hold you in from recess.

1. "Is your homework just a bunch of coloring?"

Um, no, it's not. We write countless lesson plans and units, match standards and objectives, organize activities, differentiate for our students, study educational theories and principles, and write an insane amount of papers on top of all of that. Sometimes we do get to color though and I won't complain about that.

2. "Your major is so easy."

See above. Also, does anyone else pay tuition to have a full-time job during their last semester of college?

3. "It's not fair that you get summers off."

Are you jealous? Honestly though, we won't really get summers off. We'll probably have to find a second job during the summer, we'll need to keep planning, prepping our classroom, and organizing to get ready for the new school year.

4. “That's a good starter job."

Are you serious..? I'm not in this temporarily. This is my career choice and I intend to stick with it and make a difference.

5. “That must be a lot of fun."

Yes, it definitely is fun, but it's also a lot of hard work. We don't play games all day.

6. “Those who can't, teach."

Just ugh. Where would you be without your teachers who taught you everything you know?

7. “So, you're basically a babysitter."

I don't just monitor students, I teach them.

8. “You won't make a lot of money."

Ah yes, I'm well aware, thanks for reminding me. Teachers don't teach because of the salary, they teach because they enjoy working with students and making a positive impact in their lives.

Cover Image Credit: BinsAndLabels

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That One Time I May Have Shot An Ex-Police Officer

Yeah, you heard me.

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In England, we don't really have guns, maybe hunting guns but I think it's pretty rare. Anyway, point is, barely any guns. I have never seen a gun, shot a gun, I don't even know anybody that owns a gun so as an exchange student in Oklahoma it's a novelty to visit a gun range.

I was pretty nervous about shooting but the instructor was super nice and told us how to hold the gun and load it before we went into the range. He also let us ask any questions we had about guns and explained the process of getting a gun in Oklahoma and he said he had visited Europe and was talking about England, and how he used to be a cop and opened his own gun shop. Basically a really really nice guy, which honestly makes harming him ten times worse.

We went into the range and we were shooting a 22 caliber and another guy at the range, I'm assuming a regular, asked if we wanted to fire his revolver so of course, we said yes.

This gun was definitely heavier and the trigger was super hard to pull but he kept his hand on the gun whilst I struggled with the trigger and then I fired it.

I heard a bang and I heard a yell.

I turned around and he was holding his thumb and there was blood dripping onto the floor. At this point, I thought I had shot him, so you can imagine the sheer level of panic that I was feeling.

The color drained from my face and I was frozen solid and all I could say was, "are you okay?" which was answered with a "Ma'am, put the gun down."

Basically, I'm freaking out and I look over at the lads for some form of reassurance, which was met with them looking equally as freaked out as me. So I asked,

"Do we need to call someone?"

"Yep. We are definitely gonna have to call someone"

So at this point, my nerves were shattered and I had no idea what was going on or what the procedure is for this sort of thing. I mean, the guy also took it like a champ and barely even winced and kept repeating "little lady, you're fine" – safe to say I did not feel fine nor did the situation, in my eyes, look at all fine.

Luckily the regulars knew what to do and took him to the ER so we were left in the store with another regular shooter.

Everyone else went back out to shoot but I didn't feel like assaulting/ shooting/ potentially murdering anyone else so I decided to sit this round out and talk to the woman that stayed with us and he called and said it wasn't me, something came off the bullet or gun and went into his hand- so no I didn't actually shoot him and he was going to be okay.

The point of this now very funny story is that whilst guns are cool they're also pretty dangerous.

I have no idea how someone can participate in these mass shootings because I didn't even shoot someone, only thought I did, and it was probably the most terrifying moment of my life.

So, if you are around guns, have fun, be safe and try not to send your instructor to the ER.

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