Today, the U.S. Department of Education released an interim Q&A for schools to reference when investigating and/or adjudicating federal campus sexual misconduct allegations.

Additionally, the Department withdrew statements of policy issued in its 2011 Dear Colleague Letter on Sexual Violence, and the 2014 Q&A on Title IX and Sexual Violence. In doing so, the Department will now rely on the 2001 Revised Sexual Harassment Guidance, as well as the 2006 Dear Colleague Letter on Sexual Harassment.

The new interim guidelines permit colleges and universities to raise their evidence requirements to a clear and convincing standard of proof, contrary to the preponderance of evidence standard applied in the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter.

“This interim guidance will help schools as they work to combat sexual misconduct and will treat all students fairly,” said DeVos in today’s press release. “Schools must continue to confront these horrific crimes and behaviors head-on. There will be no more sweeping them under the rug. But the process also must be fair and impartial, giving everyone more confidence in its outcomes.”

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Pauline Toboulidis

The American Law Institute

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