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WASHINGTON, March 8, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In commemorating International Women’s Day, President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing his administration to review Trump-era policies which regulate how colleges and other educational institutions handle sexual misconduct allegations. He also formally established a White House Gender Policy Council.

Biden’s executive order seeks to ensure “all students” have an “educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex … sexual orientation or gender identity.” This includes “discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual violence.”

The order directs the Department of Education to review Trump-era policies including changes to regulations pertaining to Title IX — the 1972 law which prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational institutions receiving federal funding.

In 2018, Trump education secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded an earlier Obama administration standard of requiring a mere “preponderance of evidence,” which, according to Breitbart, means “it is more likely than not that sexual harassment or violence occurred,” to the usual standard of “clear and convincing evidence” in order to convict the accused.

In finalizing these policies in May 2020, DeVos stated that “we can continue to combat sexual misconduct without abandoning our core values of fairness, presumption of innocence and due process.” She also condemned the Obama administration for adopting a “failed approach” that turned campus disciplinary panels into “kangaroo courts.”

According to the Associated Press, the De Vos changes narrowed the definition of sexual harassment and “require colleges to investigate claims only if they’re reported to certain officials. Schools can be held accountable for mishandling complaints only if they acted with ‘deliberate indifference.’” Finally, students — both plaintiffs and accused — were allowed the due process of being able to question each other through representatives during live hearings.

At the time, Biden accused the Trump administration of moving to “shame and silence” victims of sexual assault, and announced that he would reverse those rules if elected president.

“It’s wrong,” he said last May. “And it will be put to a quick end in January 2021, because as president, I’ll be right where I always have been throughout my career — on the side of survivors, who deserve to have their voices heard, their claims taken seriously and investigated, and their rights upheld.”

This stance was ironic for Biden at the time, since he was professing his own innocence in the face of allegations by former Senate staffer Tara Reade who said that in 1993, then-Senator Biden assaulted her in a “semi-private” stairwell on Capitol Hill.

Commemorating the day, Biden also signed a second executive order formally establishing a White House Gender Policy Council.

According to Newsmax, “The council’s mandate is to work across the federal government’s domestic and foreign policy to fight discrimination and bias, boost economic security, increase access to health care, and advance general equality through diplomacy, trade and defense.”

In an formal statement for today’s occasion, Biden declared that “[e]levating the status of women and girls globally is the right thing to do — it is a matter of justice, fairness, and decency, and it will lead to a better, more secure, and more prosperous world for us all.”

These executive orders come following another issued on January 20, just hours after the installation of new president, which mandated educational institutions who receive federal funding to allow “trans women’ (i.e. biological men) to compete in women’s sports.

Journalist and author, Abigail Shrier tweeted at the time that Biden had, on his first day, “eviscerate[ed] women’s sports.”


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