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Lawsuits Aim to Block DeVos’s New Sexual Misconduct Rules

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Lawsuits againset DeVos sexual harassment rulingsStudents, women’s rights and education groups are suing to block Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s campus sexual assault rules from taking effect next month, with plaintiffs as young as 10 joining arguments that the rules will harm students and burden institutions.

Last week, seven students joined a lawsuit the National Women’s Law Center filed against the Education Department, outlining how the new rules, which bolster the rights of the accused and relieve schools of some liability, stand to derail their cases or deter them from pursuing them altogether.

Plaintiffs include a fifth grader in Michigan who fears that her elementary school will not be required to formally investigate and punish her classmate for assaulting her four times over two months; a recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, who decided not to formally report her rape at an off-campus apartment because she believed that the final rule rendered her complaint futile; a former student with an open case at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who fears facing her former professor in a soon-to-be mandatory live hearing; and a recent graduate of Harvard University who said she feared the school would dismiss her complaint because she had graduated, even though she said the accused is still a student.


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