U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights: Open Letter Requesting Adoption of ‘Davis’ Harassment Standard

Category: Due Process, Free Speech

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  • Hundreds of overbroad harassment policies severely endanger protected speech

    February 21, 2018

    FIRE frequently encounters speech codes that threaten constitutionally protected speech, but none appear more often than overbroad or vague harassment policies. We see these policies so often we became curious — just how many of these problematic policies do not comply with the Supreme Court’s standard for student-on-student (or peer) harassment? 753 individual policies, it turns out. Properly defined, peer harassment is not protected speech. However, under the standard for peer harassment provided by the Supreme Court, alleged harassment must be conduct that is “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so undermines and detracts from the victims’ educational […]

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  • Bipartisan Support for Student Rights in Senate VAWA Reauthorization

    April 30, 2012

    WASHINGTON, April 30, 2012—The U.S. Senate made bipartisan progress on college student rights on Friday as it passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011 (VAWA). Heeding the concerns of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Senators altered language in the final bill that might have required colleges and universities to employ our nation’s weakest standard of proof in adjudicating allegations of sexual misconduct. “FIRE thanks Senators Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley, Robert Casey, Mike Crapo, and Kay Bailey Hutchison for their leadership in protecting students’ due process rights,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “Campus sexual misconduct can […]

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