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Governor opposes changing campus rules on sexual misconduct

January 30, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo says she’s opposed to a major overhaul to the way colleges and universities handle sexual misconduct complaints proposed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

DeVos has proposed adding protections for students accused of assault and harassment and narrowing which cases schools would be required to investigate.

The Democratic governor said Wednesday that she and Postsecondary Education Commissioner Brenda Dann-Messier wrote to DeVos. They say the revisions would narrow the definitions of sexual harassment and assault on college campuses, create undue barriers to overcome and criteria to meet to report sexual violence, and weaken a higher education institution’s obligation to protect and support victims.

The Education Department says the proposal ensures fairness for students on both sides of accusations, while giving schools flexibility to support victims.

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