- Associated Press - Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Latest on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos‘ policy announcement about campus sexual assault and enforcement of Title IX, the federal law that bars discrimination in education on the basis of gender (all times local):

1:14 p.m.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (dih-VAHS’) says any new policy on investigating sexual assault on college campus must balance the rights of victims and the accused.

She’s announced plans to replace Obama administration guidance that spells out schools’ responsibility. She calls that a failed system and says the rights of all parties must be taken into account.

DeVos says schools are committing discrimination if they fail to take seriously a student who reports sexual misconduct.

And she says those that use “a system biased toward finding a student responsible for sexual misconduct” also are committing discrimination.

DeVos suggests that the definition of sexual assault is too broad and that too many cases involve student and faculty “simply for speaking their minds or teaching their classes.”

At the same time, she says acts of sexual misconduct are “atrocious” and must be confronted head-on.

She says public input would be sought in developing a new policy for investigating Title IX complaints.

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12:27 p.m.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos plans to end the Obama administration’s rules for investigating allegations of sexual violence on campus.

DeVos said Thursday, “The era of ‘rule by letter’ is over,” as she announced plans to review and replace the way colleges and university handle investigations.

The Obama administration guidance was originally delivered in a letter to schools. She says it has failed many students and done a “disservice to everyone involved.”

The letter details what schools must do to investigate allegations of sexual violence.

DeVos makes clear that “acts of sexual misconduct are reprehensible, disgusting, and unacceptable.”

But she says, “Instead of working with schools on behalf of students, the prior administration weaponized the Office for Civil Rights to work against schools and against students.”

She says the department will seek public comment and university expertise to develop rules to replace the current policy.

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11:35 a.m.

About two dozen protesters have gathered outside the auditorium where Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will speak about enforcement of rules governing how colleges investigate sexual assault on campus.

The protesters include women who said they were assaulted on campus and victims’ advocates.

They’re carrying signs, and one says: “Donald Trump supports Betsy DeVos supports perpetrators.”

DeVos has said Obama-era rules on investigating campus sexual assault aren’t working and suggested that revisions were necessary.

The Education Department has described DeVos‘ address as a major policy speech on Title IX enforcement. Title IX bars discrimination on the basis of sex in education.

She’s speaking at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.

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10:50 a.m.

Some victim advocates and legal experts say they expect colleges to stay the course even if Education Secretary Betsy DeVos loosens Obama-era rules on investigating campus sexual assault.

DeVos is giving a policy address on Title IX enforcement later Thursday.

Central to the debate is a 2011 memo from the Education Department that laid out rules colleges must follow when responding to complaints of sexual assault from their students.

DeVos has said the rules aren’t working.

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3 a.m.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is expected to detail her plans for revising Obama administration guidance that governs how colleges handle sexual assault complaints.

The Education Department says DeVos will address Title IX enforcement in a speech at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.

Title IX is a federal law that forbids discrimination in education based on sex. In recent years, it’s been associated with efforts to address sexual assault and harassment at college campuses.

DeVos has said the Obama administration guidance isn’t working.

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