Education department says it will scale back on Civil Rights Investigations

Oh isn’t this a fantastic headline in the New York Times: “Education Dept. Says It Will Scale Back Civil Rights Investigations? I say with a snarl.
Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, aka ms “let us take money away from public education, has chosen to cut back on civil rights investigations. A civil rights investigation can include the isms of society. Sexism, Racism, Ableism, are all under that umbrella.
“According to an internal memo issued by Candice E. Jackson , the acting head of the department’s office for civil rights, requirements that investigators broaden their inquiries to identify systemic issues and whole classes of victims will be scaled back. Also, regional offices will no longer be required to alert department officials in Washington of all highly sensitive complaints on issues such as the disproportionate disciplining of minority students and the mishandling of sexual assaults on college campuses.

The new directives are the first steps taken under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reshape her agency’s approach to civil rights enforcement, which was bolstered while President Barack Obama was in office” (New York Times, 2017.)

According to our secretary of education we need this structure because the old system was not working. The old system saw an increase in complaints to an understaffed office of civil rights in the education department which made it hard for them to close cases within 180 days.
“In the memo, which was first published by ProPublica, Ms. Jackson emphasized that the new protocols were aimed at resolving cases quickly.

“Justice delayed is justice denied, and justice for many complainants has been denied for too long,” Ms. Hill said in a statement” (New York Times, 2017.) The move is being supported by several groups.
Robert Shibley, the executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education , an advocacy group, said the measures will be welcomed on college campuses where the department has overstepped in carrying out sexual assault investigations. The organization is suing the department over a letter issued in 2011 directing campuses to change the burden of proof in cases of sexual assault.

“So many of the campus hearings are kangaroo courts with low due process, and you can’t really have any confidence in the outcomes,” Mr. Shibley said. While Mr. Shibley is happy some aren’t.
Civil rights leaders arn’t very happy with the new rules.
“They say that Education Department staff members would be discouraged from opening cases and that investigations could be weakened because efficiency would take priority over thoroughness.

`If we want to have assembly-line justice, and I say ‘justice’ in quotes, then that’s the direction that we should go,` said Catherine Lhamon, who was the assistant secretary of the Education Department’s civil rights office under Mr. Obama, and who now heads the United States Commission on Civil Rights” (New York Times, 2017.) What do you think?


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