Blog : sexual assault

Amid Alleged Broomstick Hazing Ritual Scandal, Damascus High Principal Resigns, JV Football Coach & Athletic Director Placed on Leave

When a JV high school football team,  thought to be like a family, allegedly commits the tradition of “broomstick” hazing to new teammates, the story is going to draw ongoing negative media attention…

Yesterday, the principal of Damascus High School in Maryland announced her resignation as a result of the alleged October 2018 “broomstick” hazing and rape of junior varsity football team members at the school.

This announcement follows news that the Damascus High’s JV football coach, Vincent Colbert, who was reported as the first school official to know about the attack (and that the school system waited hours to alert police) was placed on leave last month as part of the ongoing investigation…and later last night, a letter to coaches announced that the athletic director was also put on leave.

This heartbreaking news of hazing and sexual assault in high school is reminiscent of the suit School Violence Law & The Fierberg National Law Group filed on behalf of the Ooltewah High School rape victim who was sodomized with a pool-cue by teammates.

Read our first Blog article regarding the Damascus alleged hazing here.

Follow the ongoing coverage at The Washington Post, WTOP  and CBS NEWS.

 

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After Sit-In, Fraternities No More at Swarthmore

Inside Higher ED | By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf  | May 2, 2019

After students occupied one of the Greek houses on campus for four days, protesting a long history of accusations against them, the two chapters at the college dissolved themselves.

Swarthmore College’s only two fraternities have disbanded, following days-long protests and the leak of internal documents from one of the chapters in which its members boasted about sexual violence and expressed bigoted views.

Student activists stormed one of the fraternity houses, which the college had leased to Phi Psi, on Saturday afternoon. There they remained, both on the main level of the quaint stone building in the center of campus and in tents pitched around the yard. Students accused administrators of ignoring the sexual assaults they said took place in the house.

In the released documents, Phi Psi brothers called the bedroom in the upstairs of the home a “rape attic.”While allegations of rape have hounded Phi Psi for years, the troubles on campus began after a handful of students put together a blog chronicling anonymous students’ stories of being harassed or assaulted by fraternity members. One of the students who started the project said the students had received more than 100 submissions, not just from students at Swarthmore, known for its academic rigor and its Quaker roots, but also from the two other institutions in the Tri-College Consortium, Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College.

After the blog gained some attention, two student-run publications, the Phoenix and Voices, last month published more than 100 pages of what appear to be Phi Psi meeting “minutes” from 2012 to 2016. The logs detail explicit behavior and racial prejudice by fraternity members.

More than 100 students overtook the Phi Psi house on Saturday, and the same day President Valerie Smith informed the campus that she would block fraternity activities until an investigation into the documents had finished. The investigation will be conducted by Christine Wechsler, a lawyer with the Pennsylvania-based firm Elliot Greenleaf. Wechsler was previously part of the Pennsylvania governor’s Office of General Counsel. She will review the documents and determine if any current students may be implicated in policy violations and identify activities that may be ongoing and infringe on federal or state laws or college rules.

After initially disavowing the documents — while also claiming that the trends had not continued with the current crop of members — Phi Psi late Tuesday stated on Facebook it would dissolve and turn the house back over to the college.“We cannot in good conscience be members of an organization with such a painful history, “ the members wrote on Facebook. “Since the start of our membership, we made it our mission to improve the culture and perception of Phi Psi. Unfortunately, the wounds are too deep to repair, and the best course of action for all those involved is to disband the fraternity completely.”Though not the primary target of student ire, the campus’ other fraternity, Delta Upsilon, also announced on Tuesday that it would disband.“After much discussion, the members of Delta Upsilon have unanimously decided that disbanding our fraternity is in the best interest of the Swarthmore community,” the fraternity wrote on Facebook. “We hope that our former house will provide a space that is inclusive, safe, and promotes healing.”What will become of the buildings, which for many years have housed the fraternities, remains unclear. Students had demanded that they be converted into spaces that would cater to minority students on campus, or as one activist phrased it, those factions that had been “victimized” by the fraternities.

A spokesman did not respond to request for comment about the future of the buildings and other questions.

Swarthmore is in the midst of studying its now even further shrunken Greek system. Only one sorority remains on campus. The committee conducting that work will still continue it, Smith said in a message to campus Wednesday.“Still, as a community, we have much healing to do,” Smith said in a statement. “We have heard heartbreaking stories from students who feel unwelcome to the point of wanting to transfer out of our community. Those stories have come from across the spectrum of our student body — from student protesters to fraternity members. Stories such as these reflect our failure to realize the values we so often espouse.”Smith stressed that the college would investigate any reports of sexual violence that reached officials. Swarthmore has long struggled with its handling of sexual assault cases. It was subject to a highly controversial and publicized complaint under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal sex antidiscrimination law, in 2013.

And students have protested the college’s response to sexual assault before. Last May, students participated in a sit-in over Title IX issues, and eventually the dean of students who was criticized during the demonstrations resigned.

The fraternities also have come under fire. In 2013, students voted down a referendum measure to ban Greek life from Swarthmore. The same year, Phi Psi was blasted for circulating recruitment materials that featured naked women. The fraternity was suspended in 2016 for alcohol violations and resumed hosting parties last year.

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Students sings songs inside the Phi Psi fraternity on Swarthmore College's campus. The protesters occupied the fraternity house in protest.

As of Thursday, dozens of activists ramped up their protest by moving a sit-in from the Phi Psi fraternity house to outside the school president’s office, a move that preceded the college calling in Swarthmore Borough police, though no one was arrested as of Thursday afternoon. A college spokesperson says president Valerie Smith is willing to meet with the protesters if they vacate her office, but they said they have no plans to leave.

The protesters didn’t come empty-handed. They brought five boxes of signs they say once adorned the walls of the fraternity house they occupied as a symbolic “move-out.” A sampling of what is now in the administration building: a Natural Light banner, a stop sign, a Marlboro cigarettes advertisement, a Dogfish Head craft beer sign, and a Haverford Athletics posting that reads, “No running in the grandstand.”

In a statement, president Valerie Smith condemned the language used in the documents and promised an investigation into whether any current students were involved in the illegal behavior described. She also stated a task force convened to examine Greek life on Swarthmore’s campus would issue recommendations to her by today.

Maya Henry, a junior with Organizing for Survivors, the advocacy group behind the sit-in said the activists want to sit in the president’s office until she makes her decision. They’re concerned the school will push off making a choice until summer when many of the school’s 1,600 students won’t be on campus. Classes end Friday; final exams take place the week of May 9.

“If the college doesn’t take a formal stance against fraternities, then at any time they can decide to come back,” Henry said. “It’s not about these particular fraternity brothers right now. It’s the whole system that repeats itself because this is the nature of fraternities.”

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Recent opinion in two campus assault cases will have a far-reaching effect on Title IX claims

School Violence Law and The Fierberg National Law Group attorney Jon Fazzola represents Tessa Farmer and Sara Weckhorst in their claims against KSU – stating that the university took no further action after their assaults – thus violating their rights under #titleix.

The university filed a motion to dismiss the case, but Honorable David M. Ebel reaffirmed a 1999 SCOTUS decision that a person does not have to be raped again for the university to be in violation of Title IX…

Within days of this decision, it was used to argue a similar Michigan State University case in which 4 students claimed their Title IX rights were violated… #saam #iask End Rape on Campus RAINN NO MORE National Sexual Violence Resource Center Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area Pave It’s On Us

Read the Full Article Here.

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How to Support a Friend or Loved One Who Has Been Sexually Abused

The New York Times
By Vanessa Marin | Feb. 27, 2019

Image Credit: Amber Vittoria

It’s an especially difficult time to be a survivor of sexual abuse or assault. On top of the daily struggle to stay safe and healthy, sexual abuse survivors also have to contend with an endlessly triggering news cycle.

If you’re not a survivor yourself but you’re close to one — maybe a partner, friend or family member — you may not be able to fully understand what they’re going through, and you may feel confused or lost about how to best support them. Here’s what you need to know, and how you can be supportive.

If your partner or friend seems to be struggling, let them know you’re available if they need to talk. If you haven’t already, listen to their story, if they’re ready to tell you. They may also want to express their anger, frustration, fear or sadness about recent news events. Don’t pressure your friend into talking or telling you their story, but let them know you’re open to listening to whatever they want to share.

In an email, Beverly Engel, psychotherapist and author of “It Wasn’t Your Fault: Freeing Yourself From the Shame of Childhood Abuse With the Power of Self-Compassion” recommended you ask — especially if the person is your romantic partner — if they want physical contact (like holding hands or a hug) as they tell their story, but otherwise default to giving them physical space while they speak. Just telling their story can be emotionally daunting, and can bring back memories.

It’s especially important to believe your friend’s story. It’s sad that this has to be said, but that’s the climate that we’re in right now. Let them know that above all, you believe them.

Wendy Maltz, sex and relationship therapist and author of “The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse,” offered this handy list of possible responses:
  • “Thank you for sharing.”

  • “You are not to blame for what happened to you.”

  • “You didn’t deserve what happened to you.”

  • “I’m sorry this happened to you.”

  • “You are not what was done to you.”

  • “That was abuse, not healthy sexuality.”

  • “I support you in your healing process.”

  • “I respect you for addressing this.”

  • “I love you.”

While every survivor and each story is unique, it’s useful to educate yourself on the impacts of sexual abuse. It’s not the responsibility of a survivor to educate you — especially when it’s so easy to read more on your own — and being informed beforehand will make you a better partner in recovery. Books are a great place to start.

Ms. Engel recommended reading the books “Allies in Healing: When the Person You Love Was Sexually Abused as a Child” by Laura Davis and “Sexual Assault [Rape]: Moving From Victim to Survivor” by Lizyvette Ramos. The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network(RAINN) also has a section on its website about post-abuse recovery.

As a psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy, I work with a lot of sexual abuse survivors and their partners. The impacts of sexual abuse can be extremely difficult to understand if you haven’t experienced the abuse yourself, and it may help to learn some of the common impacts that abuse can have on a loved one. Here are some common ones I see in my practice. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and remember, each survivor’s experience is unique.

  • Dissociation: A survivor’s body can be physically present, but their mind can be in a completely different place, especially during intimate moments.

  • Getting triggered: Survivors might jump or tense up when someone gets too close, even if it’s someone they love and trust. Certain words, actions, sounds, gestures or even smells could send them into a heightened state of agitation. Many sexual abuse survivors can also be hypervigilant.

  • Difficulty making healthy decisions: Some sexual abuse survivors find it tricky to make healthy decisions about their sex lives after abuse. They might have poor body image or low self esteem. They may find themselves becoming intimate with people who don’t respect them, or in situations that feel unsafe.

  • Low libido or an avoidance of sex: Many survivors don’t want to revisit the specific activities that traumatized them.

  • Shame: Many survivors feel as if they’re broken or damaged goods. Male sexual abuse survivors can feel a different kind of shame, since male sexual abuse isn’t discussed nearly as often, and carries a different kind of stigma.

This list shouldn’t be used to diagnose your loved one, but rather, to give you a foundation if your loved one wants to discuss the ways their abuse may affect their life.

Your friend or loved one is most likely going to continue having reactions to the news, family dinner conversations, intimacy or even seemingly random events. Here’s what you can do in those moments:

  • Keep listening. Don’t try to give advice or fix the problem. Just listen.

  • Let them feel their feelings. It can be extremely difficult to see someone you love in pain, but they need space to express themselves. Don’t say things like, “Cheer up” or “Don’t cry.” Stay by their side as they work through their feelings.

  • Let your loved one know you’re on their team. Tell them you’re happy to turn off the TV, get out of the house or leave an event with them.

  • Ask if your friend or loved one needs anything from you. They may not always have an answer, but it’s nice to make it clear that you want to be supportive and engaged.

Encourage your loved one to get as much support as they can. This might include psychotherapy, sex therapy, support groups, crisis lines or talking to other trusted loved ones.

RAINN has a handy tool for finding resources in your area. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 at 800-656-HOPE (4673). You can always offer to take them to their appointments, take them out for lunch after a meeting, or even join the session.

However, it’s ultimately up to your loved one to make their own decisions about their healing process. Ms. Maltz advised: “While healing is a process you can participate in, it’s not something you can control or make happen. Survivors heal on their own timelines, based on their own readiness and motivation. Healing is more likely to take place when the survivor leads, and you work as a team together — both partners in a healing process.”

It’s also important for you to get your own support. Mike Lew, author of “Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering From Sexual Child Abuse,” noted, “People who love survivors go through a parallel process to that of the survivors themselves, often with less support, fewer resources, and the feeling that they don’t deserve the support because it wasn’t done to them.” It’s hard to hear the story of someone you love being abused. Understand that you may have your own reactions, and you deserve support too. Consider getting personal therapy of your own. (You can use the RAINN locator tool too.)

Recovering from sexual abuse is a long process that is never truly over. The path to recovery can also look different for each survivor, but Ms. Maltz noted that the most common steps include “recognizing what happened, identifying repercussions, resolving feelings about the past abuse and the perpetrator (or perpetrators), stopping negative behaviors, reclaiming personal power, relearning touch, addressing sex and intimacy concerns, and more.”

“Be patient,” Ms. Maltz said. “That’s probably the biggest gift you can give.” Along the way, it’s important for you and your loved one to acknowledge and honor your hard work. You can do an activity together after every therapy session, like cooking a special meal, or going on a walk. Or get away for a weekend when the news cycle becomes too much to bear. The healing process can feel like two steps forward, one step back, but any sort of progress deserves recognition.

Vanessa Marin is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy and online courses. You can find her on the web here, or follow her on Twitter @VMTherapy.

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Judge denies consent as possible defense for teacher accused of sex with student

Former Athens teacher Tyler Millward enters the courtroom Monday.

A judge ruled Monday that a former Athens teacher charged with having sex with a student is prohibited from using consent by the victim as a defense.

The attorney for Tyler Millward of Springfield argued that his client should be allowed to argue at trial that because the victim consented to the relationship that he is not guilty of the crime.

“It is our position that consent is a defense and if the court finds it is not a defense than (the Michigan statute) is unconstitutional,” defense attorney Anastase Markou said.

Millward, 30, is charged with three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a student between July 2017 and January 2018 when she was 16 and while he was a teacher at Athens High School. His trial is scheduled for early March. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The student had Millward’s child in December. The Enquirer does not name victims of alleged sexual assault.

In his argument Monday Markou told Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge John Hallacy that while Michigan law prohibits teachers having sex with a student, it does not prohibit a defendant from using consent as a defense. And he said the girl was 16, which is the age of consent in Michigan.

“The legislature did not specify that consent was not a defense,” Markou said. “They were not clear in this case. The legislature could have eliminated consent (as a defense) but they did not.”

Prosecutor David Gilbert told the judge Michigan law says “a teacher does not have the right to have sex with a student and that is clear under the case law. To say you have a right to have sex with a student, that is just not true.”

And Gilbert said while the law used to charge Millward may not prohibit consent as an argument, it does specify that the victims are covered between the ages of 16 and 18.

And Hallacy agreed with Gilbert’s argument.

“The statute is very specific and here the legislature expanded the age up to 18. The age of consent is 16 but the statute says up to 18.

“You can’t have sex with anyone between 16 and 18 so consent is not an issue because of the relationship,” Hallacy said.

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Chad Curtis’ ex-wife loses bankruptcy protection in his $1.8M judgment for sex assaults

Chad Curtis

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A judge rejected a bankruptcy petition filed by the ex-wife of former major leaguer Chad Curtis who was accused of trying to shield her assets from a $1.8 million judgment against Curtis.

A federal judge earlier awarded $1.8 million to a former Lakewood High School student-athlete who was molested by Chad Curtis while he volunteered for the athletic program.

Candace Curtis filed for bankruptcy the same day that a U.S. District Court magistrate recommended that she be made a party to the judgment.

Curtis, 50, is serving seven to 14 years in prison after being convicted in 2013 of sexually assaulting three student-athletes under the guise of performing therapeutic massages. A fourth joined them in a civil lawsuit. Chad Curtis settled claims with three victims for $10,000 each but the other was awarded $1.8 million in a federal bench trial.

The student-athlete who was awarded the judgment filed a motion to dismiss Candace Curtis’ bankruptcy case.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Gregg, in an opinion issued Wednesday, Jan. 23, said Candace Curtis did not act in good faith in filing the bankruptcy petition.

The judge noted that the Curtises, in prison recordings, had “discussed shielding their marital assets and respective revocable trusts from (the student-athlete).”

The student-athlete’s attorney, Monica Beck, filed a motion to dismiss Candace Curtis’ bankruptcy petition. She had obtained the recorded calls and accused the couple of fraud after Curtis gave all of his assets to his ex-wife during divorce proceedings.

Among them is a 23-acre horse farm in Ada Township which she listed for sale three years ago for $1.9 million. Candace Curtis listed liabilities of $13,000.

Gregg said his purpose was not to determine if fraud was committed but whether Candace Curtis acted in good faith in filing for bankruptcy protection. He said the jailhouse recordings, in which she said she didn’t want the student-athlete to get anything, were made several years ago and not necessarily an indication of her lack of good faith.

“The same cannot be said of the Debtor’s testimony … which is indicative of the Debtor’s lack of good faith. During the hearing, the Debtor made several troubling statements. Although the Debtor acknowledged that she intended to satisfy the claims of her other creditors, she was not necessarily prepared to address any allow claim of (the student-athlete),” the judge wrote.

She intended to sell the farm to her daughter and still have use of it, the judge said.

“These intentions are not representative of an honest but unfortunate debtor seeking to reorganize in good faith, Gregg said.

He said the student-athlete’s claim will return to U.S. District Court where Judge Janet Neff will decide whether to adopt Magistrate Judge Ellen Carmody’s recommendation that Candace Curtis be made a party to the student-athlete’s effort to collect the $1.8 million judgment.

“Curtis’ acts were devastating to many people on many levels,” Gregg said. “As the debtor testified, she did not cause any damage to (the student-athlete) – Curtis did. Nonetheless, (the student-athlete) asserts a claim against the Debtor, the merits of which will be adjudicated by the District Court.”

The four victims earlier settled a lawsuit against Lakewood Public Schools for $575,000, with the schools’ insurance company paying $375,000.

Curtis played for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and others in a 10-year career. He earned $14 million in that time, the victims’ attorney said.

Story Here

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Statement Regarding the Allegations Against Kingsley Middle School Principal, Karl Hartman

Kingsley Middle School Principal Accused of Sex Crimes

Image result for kingsley michigan principalKingsley, MI – We are deeply saddened to hear of the allegations of sexual victimization of students at Kingsley Area Schools. As attorneys at The Fierberg National Law Group, we represent survivors of school sex abuse in Michigan and across the country, helping them seek justice and healing.  We understand the trauma and harm young victims and their families suffer, and the betrayal felt when those who stand in positions of authority over children violate the trust that parents, students, and the community place in them.  Although we know from our work on behalf of victims around the country that sexual assault and abuse in schools is all too common, we are still dismayed to learn about this alleged misconduct in our community.  Our heart goes out to these young men and their loved ones.

About The Fierberg National Law Group

The Fierberg National Law Group, with offices located in Traverse City, Michigan, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, represent victims of violence and harassment, including sexual abuse and assault, to make certain their rights are protected, achieving justice for victims and their families, and ensuring perpetrators and institutions that fail to comply with their obligations to protect children are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

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CLIENT TESTIMONIAL: PRO BONO VICTORY AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE

“I am so grateful for your assistance with everything. I am thankful to have this behind me and I am looking forward to moving on with my studies.”

Lisa Cloutier and The Fierberg National Law Group continued to seek justice pro bono for a sexual assault and Title IX victim who no longer had the ability to pay.

We prevailed on an appeal, convinced the school to let us submit an appeal of discipline, connected her with accommodations for the first time, and negotiated a tuition reimbursement and grade change…all of which were the key items she wanted. 

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The Devastating Effects of the Ill-Conceived Proposed Title IX Changes

By Douglas Fierberg & Elizabeth Munoz

The Trump Administration’s ill-conceived proposed changes to Title IX will have devastating effects on the hard-fought progress made on decreasing sexual assaults on college campuses and encouraging survivors to report such misconduct.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, approximately 80% of rapes and sexual assaults are not reported.  That number is alarming, for obvious reasons.  Yet, the proposed regulations make both the reporting process and the investigation even more challenging, confrontational and threatening, further discouraging survivors from coming forward and decreasing the ability for justice for survivors.

First, rather than the current “preponderance of evidence” standard, which requires that the wrongdoing is proven as being more likely than not (over 50%), the regulations increase this standard to “clear and convincing,” which is a significantly higher burden of proof. 

There is no valid reason for increasing the required burden of proof for alleged sexual violence, when all other misconduct, including violent and deadly criminal acts, are judged in school disciplinary hearings by a preponderance of the evidence.  For example, a student defending himself in school disciplinary proceedings for allegedly killing, maiming, assaulting, stalking, etc., another student may be found responsible if his culpability is established by a preponderance of the evidence.  Were he charged with an act of sexual violence, though, the government and Secretary DeVos believe his responsibility should be established only by the higher standard of clear and convincing evidence.  Why the difference?  Historical and wrongful gender bias, pure and simple.  The fact is that men (the overwhelming majority of offenders) and women presently have numerous rights to defend themselves at school hearings, and appeal adverse findings to multiple levels of oversight. The idea that alleged offenders presently lack due process in defending themselves is pure fiction.

Second, the current disciplinary systems at schools permit extensive questioning of the survivor and accused to challenge their respective accounts and testimony, though under reasonably controlled circumstances. 

Most often, this involves presenting questions to the judicial panel to be posed to the other party for purposes of exposing inconsistencies or other shortcomings in their claims.  This keeps the proceedings civil and meaningful.  The proposed regulations would essentially set the dogs loose by allowing the representatives of the accused to directly cross-examine, attack and intimidate the survivor with questions that have not been subjected to any prior review by the judicial panel.  The foreseeable result is that survivors will face scathing, wholly irrelevant, abusive and inadmissible questions before the panel even has an opportunity to prevent the abusive questioning.  One simple example where this will certainly cause harm and havoc to survivors is when the accused will invariably seek to use a survivor’s other sexual relationships to prove his own innocence.  Virtually every state and court either prohibits this line of inquiry entirely under so-called Rape Shield statutes or severely limits and closely supervises this line of questioning because of its general irrelevance and abusiveness.  But, by allowing direct questioning by the accused and his representatives, the regulations will undoubtedly result in this type of abuse, which, like bruises, do not simply disappear after the beating stops.

Third, the proposed guidelines change the definition of sexual harassment to be an event, “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity.”

Yet, the question of what constitutes sexual abuse and harassment are so often inextricably connected to the specific, unique and subjective surrounding circumstances and persons involved.  It still matters that a young woman is regularly harassed at school by another student about her gender, body and physical appearance, even if she, for reasons particular to her, is more sensitive or vulnerable to such comments than other young women.  That the harassing comments regularly devastate her are not “objectively” offensive to others should not give the abuser a license to continue, and this is a long-settled principle of American law:  A wrongdoer is never deemed entitled to a healthy, strong victim by any actual or quasi-judicial forum in this country.   The wrongdoer is responsible even if his conduct might not have harmed others.

Finally, the proposed regulations lessen the responsibility of schools to protect students to misconduct that occurs on campus, exempting the wide-range of misconduct that takes place in off-campus fraternity houses, other school-related locations, parties and events, even though a substantial portion of sexual assaults occur in these circumstances,[1]  and such misconduct invariably carries onto campus because that’s where the assailant and survivor reside and attend classes. 

It’s on campus – in the dormitories, classrooms, cafeterias, libraries and at school events – that the survivor faces the presence, threat and terrifying harassment of the assailant and, often, his friends and supporters.  It is this threat, unchecked and unresolved, that causes so many survivors academic harm, exclusion, and other damages.  There are absolutely no legal or moral bases for permitting schools to protect a survivor’s educational rights in this circumstance.

Considerable institutional, societal, and structural barriers are already in place which discourages survivors of assault from reporting their assault.  Likewise, those and other structures provide due process, meaningful hearings, and appeals to persons accused of engaging in sexual violence and misconduct.  The proposed regulations do not fix real problems in the system.  Instead, if implemented, they are sure to further discourage survivors from reporting sexual assaults, harm them when they pursue valid claims, and pave the way for numerous assailants to evade responsibility for their misconduct.

[1] The principal insurer and risk-management company for universities conducted a study that found that 41% of assaults occur at off-campus parties.

 

To offer your input, please go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID “ED-2018-OCR-0064” or “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance” to begin the process and click on the option to “Comment Now”. Comments are accepted as a text entry or uploaded document, either Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF (text-searchable preferred) and should include the Docket ID. Please note that all submitted comments are made publicly available online, so do not include anything you don’t want to be made public.

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