Secretary of Education Betty DeVos made an alarming announcement recently about the directive put into effect by the Obama administration about campus sexual assault. Her decision has completely undermined that efforts of former President Obama and puts more lenient guidelines on offenders of sexual crimes that occur on school campuses. Far too often, victims of sexual assault are a silent reminder of the formidable flaws of our criminal justice system.
According to RAINN. Org (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), out of 1,000 sexual assault offenders, an alarming 994 of them will go free. This means that more work needs to be done to protect the victims of sexual assault and Secretary DeVos’ announcement only exacerbates the slow progress we are already making.
Education secretary DeVos and the Trump administration has decided to essentially spit in the face of every victim of of rape and sexual assault. The new guidelines their administration have decided to implement are going to do a few things. First, the new guidelines will remove the old guidelines put in place by the Obama administration. This means that the strict guidelines that sex offenders were held to under that Obama administration, are now null and void. Second, the new guidelines evaluate the “fairness” of the sex offender’s treatment and their rights on said campus.
This asinine statement is reminiscent of a certain Stanford university swimmer and his “slap on the hand” sentence. Lastly, the restrictions and procedures do resolving sexual assault investigations now cease to exist. What this means, is that offenders of sexual assault crimes will not be held accountable and prosecuted in a timely manner. That’s bad news for a victim of this heinous crime; where time is not on their side and time sensitive details get lost as time passes.
My biggest gripe with the decisions that have been made by Education Secretary DeVos and the Trump administration is that their decision is not based on knowledge, it’s based on impulsive fear. It’s based on ignorance. It’s based on misinformation and ill advised council. As a result, thousands upon thousands of lives could be changed unnecessarily and irresponsibly. Furthermore, the decision cane after Secretary DeVos held a day long summit that involved the victims of sexual assault and the accused students.
How can an informed decision about the fairness of justice in context to those victims lives be made after 1 day summit? Was there a true sense of empathy that was understood in the span of a few hours by Education Secretary DeVos? I think not. True justice for any crime is not defined by the offender. It’s not even defined by US. It’s defined by Christ.
Proverbs 28:5 says:
“Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully.”
Offenders have no understanding of justice and therefore should not be able to choose for themselves. Because their sin is rooted in evil. And sin will never be in communion with righteousness. Bryce Young’s article, Only Christians Understand True Social Justice dives deeper into the realities of scripture in relation to this issue. He discusses the importance of understanding that true justice doesn’t come from man made laws and ideals. It comes from relationship with the One who is infinitely the personification of justice for Christians.
“Rather, we understand justice completely because we’re tethered by faith to the one who is justice, because we seek the one who defines and loves justice, the one who calls us to justice.”
Education Secretary Betty DeVos and the Trump administration’s failure to take into consideration the reality that justice is not decided by the offender is a forlorn reminder of the blatant rejection of human decency and rights.
God, in His infinite love, allows us the ability to choose. But in that choice, He gave us the freedom to face the consequences, whether good or bad. That simple truth is non transferable and non negotiable.
It’s not up for debate. It’s not something that can be re-evaluated during a 1-day summit. It’s constant and it’s for our protection. If only our nations leaders would take a step back and gain a true understanding of true justice. If only they would recognize their inability to make a decision like that without the proper Guidance Counselor as their consultant. If only.