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Elspeth
08-03-2013, 11:46 PM
How the Education Department Would Limit Dating (http://chronicle.com/article/Dark-Cloud-Over-Academic/139463/)

Recently the Education Department issued a controversial "blueprint" for dealing with sexual harassment that could expose colleges that follow it to First Amendment lawsuits and redefine every flirtation and request to go out on a date as potential sexual harassment. It rejects decades of court rulings by declaring that any unwelcome speech or conduct of a sexual nature is harassment, even if it would not offend a reasonable person.

The Education Department's radical new position is set forth in a May 9 letter involving the University of Montana. The department criticized the university for defining sexual harassment based on previous Supreme Court rulings, including a 1993 decision that said conduct is not harassment if it does not offend a "reasonable person," and a 1999 ruling in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education that emphasized that conduct must be "severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive" to constitute illegal sexual harassment under Title IX.

In provisions that it says will "serve as a blueprint for colleges and universities throughout the country," the Education Department declares that "sexual harassment should be more broadly defined as 'any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature,'" including "verbal conduct," even if it is not "objectively offensive" or severe enough to create a hostile environment....

Banning all "unwelcome" sexual speech would make every sex-education class sexual harassment when it offends a squeamish student. Sexual-harassment charges were brought against a sex educator when she told a sexual joke to sum up the need to wear condoms....

Defining any romantic overture as harassment merely because it turns out to be unwelcome—even if it only occurred once, and was not repeated after its unwelcomeness became known—has dire implications for dating. Since no one is a mind reader, the only way to avoid ever making an "unwelcome advance" is to never ask anyone out on a date...

In Alice in Wonderland fashion, the government's letter suggests that punishment may be required before a disciplinary hearing (violating due process). It states that "appropriate steps" to take "prior to the completion" of a Title IX sexual-harassment investigation "may include ... disciplinary action against the harasser." It also sends conflicting signals about whether students must receive "disciplinary consequences," or merely a warning, for a single instance of nonsevere, "unwelcome conduct."...

More at the link. (http://chronicle.com/article/Dark-Cloud-Over-Academic/139463/)

Novaheart
08-04-2013, 01:31 AM
So is a matchmaker a solution, or would a matchmaker just be another form of sexual harassment?

Elspeth
08-04-2013, 01:45 AM
So is a matchmaker a solution, or would a matchmaker just be another form of sexual harassment?

I have no bloody idea. :biggrin-new: