By Eric Owens at The Daily Caller
Exactly two people are responsible for filing over 1,700 sex discrimination complaints with the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in the last few years.
Catherine E. Lhamon, the Education Department’s secretary for civil rights, won’t identify these two highly litigious individuals.
Lhamon, an Obama appointee, cited confidentiality rules as the reason, The Washington Post reports.
Under the Obama administration, the growth in the Department of Education’s sex discrimination complaints has been astounding. In 2010, Lhamon’s office saw just 391 such complaints. In 2014, the number was 2,354.
That’s a 502 percent increase.
The Office for Civil Rights has seen the total number of all complaints snowball by 57 percent. In 2009, the number of complaints of all kinds was 6,364. Last year, the number of all complaints was 9,989.
In response to this massive surge, the U.S. Department of Education is seeking to hire 200 additional attorneys and investigators. The new hires would enlarge the already-hefty Education Department civil rights bureaucracy by nearly a third.
The Office for Civil Rights currently employs 554 staffers.
Lhamon’s department branch is requesting a budget of $131 million this year. That figure marks a $30.7 million increase over last year’s cost outlay.
Lhamon lauded the increase in federal red tape and said she needs more employees to handle the ever-growing workload.
“We have the trust of the national community bringing to us their deepest hurts and asking for resolution,” she told the Post.
Critics of the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights point to a 2011 letter from the Obama administration’s Department of Education civil rights as the fairly obvious source of the huge influx of sex discrimination complaints.
“There’s been a huge amount of confusion among colleges and administrators about how to handle these things. And that’s led to a lot of investigations being opened,” Robert Shibley, executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a civil rights organization, told the Post.
The 2011 letter entitled “Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence” is 46 pages long.
It dictates how American colleges and universities must respond to allegation of sexual violence and depends heavily — at times
If schools fail to respond appropriately to allegations of campus sexual assault, they risk severe financial sanctions.
Professors from law schools at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Harvard University and George Washington University have charged that the letter’s directives force public and private schools across the country to adopt policies that threaten to dispossess students of basic, fundamental due process rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Sen. Lamar Alexander has also criticized Lhamon’s Office for Civil Rights.
“Senator Alexander has raised his concerns with Ms. Lhamon about her expansion of authority through the use of guidance to impose requirements on universities without proper notice and comment,” an aide to the Republican Senator from Tennessee told the Post.
A number of complaints which the Office for Civil Rights has considered appear spurious.
For example, a now-expelled male student at Occidental College has filed a Title IX lawsuit of his own after a pseudonymous female student accused him of rape. An Occidental professor, Danielle Dirks, declared that he “fit the profile of other rapists on campus in that he had a high GPA in high school, was his class valedictorian, was on [a sports] team, and was ‘from a good family.’”