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Vainieri Huttle Statement on New Federal Rules for Schools to Investigate Sexual Assault Allegations Under Title IX

TRENTON) – Regulations issued by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to set new rules for how K-12 schools, colleges, and universities must respond to reports of sexual harassment and assault under Title IX go into effect today. Critics argue the new rules will favor those accused of misconduct rather than victims.

          Assemblywoman Valerie Vanieri Huttle (D-Bergen) released the following statement:

          “‘Clear and convincing evidence.’ That’s what survivors of sexual assault will need to provide in order for their school to investigate their claim under the outrageous rules set by Betsy DeVos. Clearly, Ms. DeVos does not understand that sexual assault is not the kind of crime in which perpetrators leave behind a trail of breadcrumbs just waiting to be found. Despite a lack of ‘evidence,’ the crime is still real.

          “We cannot go back to the days where colleges swept allegations of misconduct under the rug. Unfortunately, this rollback of sound regulations will diminish the rights of victims and bolster those of the accused. It’s despicable and heartbreaking. 

          “The silver lining is that these rules are not set in stone. I’m proud New Jersey has joined 17 other states and the District of Columbia in fighting these regulations in court.”