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Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos announced the 'failed' Title IX guidelines on campus rape will be replaced

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Updated September 07, 2017 12:56 PM EDT

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Thursday that the Department of Education would work to replace the "failed" Title IX guidelines on campus rape established by the Obama administration.

During a speech at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. DeVos strongly condemned sexual misconduct, but said the current system lacks due process and is unfair to both survivors of campus assault and the accused.

"One rape is one too many. One assault is one too many. One aggressive act of harassment is one too many. One person denied due process is one too many," DeVos said.

She said the department would launch a public comment period to seek "feedback and combine institutional knowledge, professional expertise and the experiences of students to replace the current approach with a workable, effective and fair system."

DeVos did not specify when the public comment period would end or when the current Title IX guidelines would be replaced.

She argued that "Washington has burdened schools" with guidelines on sexual assault that are difficult to understand and navigate.

Updated September 07, 2017 12:18 PM EDT

Protesters demonstrate at George Mason University with Betsy DeVos scheduled to appear.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is expected to announce changes to the department's enforcement of federal guidelines for sexual assault cases on college campuses on Thursday.

The Department of Education announced Wednesday that DeVos will give a "major policy address on Title IX enforcement" during a speech she will make at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, at 12:15 p.m.

Established in 1972, Title IX forbids discrimination based on sex throughout all education levels. Under the Obama administration, the Department issued new guidelines including transgender students under Title IX protections. In February those guidelines were withdrawn.

DeVos is expected to announce major changes to an Obama-era Title IX directive on how colleges deal with campus rape, according to multiple news reports. The directive, known as the "Dear Colleague" letter, was issued by the Department of Education in 2011 and set guidelines on what schools must do when a student reports a sexual assault on campus.

Advocates of rape survivors say the "Dear Colleague" letter was a key step forward in getting colleges to do more about college rape, instead of just turning cases over to local police. But critics say the letter set up unfair practices that didn't give students accused of rape a fair chance to defend themselves.

Many took to Twitter to voice their disapproval ahead of the announcement.

DeVos has not shared her plans on Title IX, but has previously stated the system "is not working right and well for everyone."

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