Title IX, according to the United State’s Department of Justice, means that no discrimination based on the factor of sex will be tolerated under federally funded education programs or activities. The amendment also gives guidelines to schools on how to deal with cases of sexual assault that are reported. Seems simple enough, right?
Apparently for Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education under the Trump Administration, this seems like too much to handle. On Sep. 12, she and her team spoke about the downfalls of Title IX, how it can lead to innocent people being wrongly accused and promised a revision of the law that has been in place since 1972. Her statement was filled with fallacies, inaccurate data and clever political talk.
It takes DeVos her almost a third of her time to introduce her stance on the current amendment. Up until that point, it seemed as if she was in support of it. For over eight minutes, there was no talk of her stance, only a clever emotional fallacy to get her audience on her side.
Yes, no one wants to see their daughter get raped, no one wants to be a victim of sexual assault. She’s only trying to get you to agree with her, which everyone will.
Devos states that she doesn’t agree with Title IX, and the majority of parents, students and school administrators she has talked to don’t agree with it as well.
She talks about an unnamed example from USC where a girl was forced to file a case of sexual assault on her boyfriend, Matt Boermeester. Except that’s not what happened.
According to LA Times, referring to Boermeester as a “hero,” Zoe Katz, the girlfriend of Boermeester, changed her story. It was apparent that Katz was choked by him, and was left with visible bruises on her legs and arms. Boermeester had a court hearing on Friday to determine whether or not he will return to USC.
This case is not an issue with Title IX. It is not because of Title IX that Katz lied about her experience. It is not because of Title IX that this boy choked and bruised his girlfriend. He is not expelled because of a “failed system.” He is expelled because he was physically abusing his partner, something that under Title IX, needs to be addressed legally by the school.
It seems as if there is a trend here, young boys being falsely accused of sexual assaults that they didn’t commit, but is that true? How many rape cases are actually not true? According to the FBI, between two and eight percent of rape cases are false, and a huge 68 percent of victims of sexual assault never come forward to report it.
The current reality is that if there were no sexual assault in schools, Title IX would not need to be a thing. The current reality is that these young students are being attacked, objectified, and not taken seriously.
The speech was not about revising the Title IX amendment, it was about denying the fact that these issues are still a problem in schools all throughout the country, and taking the side that is easiest for her and her team. She covered up this corruption in fancy words, a sweet tone, and a constant reassurance that sexual assault is not okay. .
I encourage you to explore the rest of her speech and make an opinion based on fact, rather than clever presentation.
Kendall George can be reached at [email protected] or @kendallmgeorge on Twitter.