A proposed amendment to Title IX of the Education Amendments Act would have given more power to those accused of sexual assault on college campuses as they face hearings. It turns out that the failed measure was pushed by a lobbyist whose son was expelled from school following such a Title IX hearing, and would have let him appeal it under new rules.
Title IX is meant to prevent and address sex discrimination in educational settings, but it has come into play in recent years as sexual assault victims have brought complaints of being attacked on campus. The ensuing process has come under fire from critics, including current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, as being overly in favor of alleged victims, at the possible expense of the accused’s due process rights. Lobbyist Richard McIntosh was driven to push for changes after his son was kicked out of Washington University in St. Louis following a Title IX hearing.
Those changes, which were later scrapped from a bill, included letting accused parties cross-examine their accusers, letting them sue the schools if they were improperly disciplined, and retroactive application to past cases, like that of McIntosh’s son.
Had the measure succeeded, Mr. McIntosh would not have been the only family member who could have been in a position to help the student. The proposed rule change would have allowed the student to appeal the decision to the Administrative Hearing Commission, whose managing commissioner happened to be his mother, Audrey Hanson McIntosh, the Kansas City Star reported.
When reached by the Star, Richard McIntosh referred the newspaper to his attorney, who declined to comment.
It’s unclear how much of the backstory Missouri Republicans who worked with McIntosh had when he pushed them to support the bill.
Rep. Peggy McGaugh (R) said she initially was unaware of the connection, but that McIntosh eventually told her. Rep. Dean Dohrman (R), who McIntosh asked to sponsor a bill, did not comment; neither did Rep. Shamed Dogan, (R), who offered the amendment.
[Image via Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images]