In recent years, politicians led by President Obama and prominent senators and governors have teamed with extremists on campus to portray our nation’s institutions of higher learning as awash in a violent crime wave—and to suggest (preposterously) that university leaders, professors, and students are indifferent to female sexual assault victims in their midst. Neither of these claims has any bearing to reality. But they have achieved widespread acceptance, thanks in part to misleading alarums from the Obama administration and biased media coverage led by The New York Times.
The frenzy about campus rape has helped stimulate—and has been fanned by—ideologically skewed campus sexual assault policies and lawless commands issued by federal bureaucrats to force the nation’s all-too-compliant colleges and universities essentially to presume the guilt of accused students. The result has been a widespread disregard of such bedrock American principles as the presumption of innocence and the need for fair play.
This book uses hard facts to set the record straight. It explores, among other things, nearly two dozen of the cases since 2010 in which students who in all likelihood would have or have subsequently been found not guilty in a court of law have, in a lopsided process, been hastily and carelessly branded as sex criminals and expelled or otherwise punished by their colleges, often after being tarred and feathered by their fellow students. And it shows why all students—and, eventually, society as a whole—are harmed when our nation’s universities abandon pursuit of truth and seek instead to accommodate the passions of the mob.
As detailed in the new Epilogue, some encouraging events have transpired since this book was first published in October 2016. A majority of the judicial rulings in dozens of lawsuits by male students claiming their schools treated them unfairly and discriminated against them based on their gender have rebuked the schools for their handling of these cases. And Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called for fairness to accused students and accusers alike, revoked most of the guilt-presuming Obama-era policies, and began a protracted rule-making process designed to compel procedural fairness and nondiscrimination.