DOJ Tries to Impose Fed-ucation on Colleges

Barb Wire

College campuses have been the Left’s favorite incubators for decades. Now, with their takeover of higher education almost complete, federal agencies like the Department of Education and Justice are swooping in to destroy the only hope conservative students have for pushing back: the First Amendment. Using the uptick in sexual assaults as an opening, Justice officials are descending on campuses under the auspices of fixing the crisis — when in fact, the Obama administration is really there to impose its radical agenda.

The University of New Mexico is learning that lesson the hard way after the DOJ sent a 37-page letter to campus President Robert Frank, accusing the school of not doing enough to investigate students’ complaints of sexual harassment and abuse. As far as the Obama administration is concerned, UNM’s definition of sexual harassment is too narrow and should include “all speech of a sexual nature” — even if it’s protected by the First Amendment. Students would be guilty before proven innocent. In fact, Justice officials conceded that what the university should be prosecuting includes “verbal conduct” whether or not it creates a hostile environment. Obviously, the DOJ has no interest in starting a dialogue about sexual harassment — its goal is to force colleges to adopt its own ridiculous interpretations, or lose federal funds.

To campus leaders like Frank, this puts the university in an impossible position. Under the Justice Department’s broad definition, any student could be a sexual harasser! Just consider where this could lead, the Daily Caller writes. “Any speech deemed offensive of a sexual nature — whether it be a joke overheard… by another student who finds it offensive or a lecture by a professor on how one could contract AIDS — could all be defined as sexual harassment.” But that’s only the camel’s nose under the tent.

Clearly, this latest overreach will have major implications for the administration’s bigger agenda of genderless bathrooms, showers, locker rooms, and sports teams. Using their Title IX authority as an excuse, their meddling over sexual assault cases will only expand to “discrimination” claims by transgenders or other LGBT activists. As one professor warned, implementing these radical new protocols “will chill campus speech — especially for students and untenured faculty who challenge the status quo on all questions relating to gender.” It’s very similar to what the administration has done in the military. It created a sexually-charged environment with its radical policies, then used the sexual assault programs as leverage to advance more of their totalitarian-type objectives.

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In this case, the president’s sexual liberalism has wreaked havoc on education, starting in elementary school and continuing through college. The government created this crisis by sexualizing kids at an early age — then feigns surprise when that sexual tension leads to greater abuse. Now instead of finding real solutions, liberals want to strip away the First Amendment. It makes you wonder: did the government create this problem so that it could expand its power and reach? Listen to my opinion on yesterday’s “Washington Watch” radio show.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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