It’s fitting that the 365-day stink-bomb that was 2014 ended with the U.S. Department of Education wadding up the last remaining shred of its credibility on FERPA and pulling the flusher with both hands. It was that kind of year. Like Pavlov’s dogs at suppertime, school and college legal departments reflexively yapped “FERPA” anytime a… Continue reading FERPA Fib of the Year, 2014 Edition
The front page of today's Daily Emerald is a powerful one:
The issue is a timely one for the University of Oregon student newspaper — this week, it came to light that three basketball players were accused in March of sexually assaulting a woman at an off-campus party and then later at one of the players' apartments. The university and police learned of the allegations in March, and the Daily Emerald and other media have questioned why the players were allowed to continue playing through the end of the season (their suspensions were announced Monday, the same day the district attorney's office announced it did not plan to charge any of the three players).
Today, the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights released a list of 55 colleges and universities currently being investigated for potential Title IX violations involving sexual violence and harassment. Some of these investigations have been reported on previously, but others are being announced for the first time. The list's release has garnered national attention, and even brought the Department's website down briefly.
If you're a student reporter covering one of these schools and just now learning about the investigation, you probably feel there's a lot to catch up on. Many of these investigations have been going on for months, at a minimum.
Students and teachers at Fond du Lac High School are urging administrators to rethink a decision to impose prior review guidelines on student publications after the student magazine wrote an article about sexual assault.
Student journalists are petitioning their superintendent, asking him to reverse prior review guidelines created in response to the student news magazine’s article about sexual assault.
College campuses face a difficult balancing act in responding to excessive drinking by underage students.
When it comes to colleges inventing strained excuses to withhold public records and conceal unpleasant truths from the public, it's hard to pick just one standout.
Pop quiz: should you tell the police if you think someone is responsible for a pattern of sexual assaults?Well, that ain't how they do things down Oklahoma State way.In the past, I've made the point that universities shouldn't be adjudicating sexual assault claims. Both because they're bad at it and because they can't actually take these people off the streets.Now, Oklahoma State has provided an object lesson, by showing how much can go wrong when you let a bunch of amateur investigators pretend to do the jobs of police and courts.Consider what happened at Oklahoma State after five different students reported sexual assaults by the same alleged perpetrator.You would assume that a disciplinary committee at an institution faced with multiple reports of sexual assault by one person might say to themselves, "Gee, the training video we watched didn't really prepare us to do the proper investigation of sexual assault at this scale, so maybe we ought to call police."Surely a bunch of amateurs, with no authority to subpoena, no ability to collect or test forensics--certainly they wouldn't attempt to identify and punish a possible serial attacker, would they?
Administrators at Oklahoma State University defended their decision to not notify police of allegations of multiple sexual assaults, telling the student newspaper this week that the school was prohibited from doing so by a federal student privacy law.
The SPLC's comprehensive handbook on getting access to college crime information includes a discussion of crime statistics, security logs and disciplinary records.