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File photo of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Civil rights groups sue DeVos over policy on campus sexual assault

WASHINGTON — Several civil rights organizations are suing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her agency over its policy on investigating sexual assault on campuses.

Last year DeVos scrapped Obama-era guidance and replaced it with new instructions that allow universities to require higher standards of evidence when handling complaints.

DeVos said Obama-era directives had “weaponized” the Education Department and were unfairly skewed against those accused of assault.

A suit filed Thursday in federal court in California asks to declare that decision illegal. Alice Abrokwa, an attorney with the National Center for Youth Law, says, “The department has no business creating special one-sided rights that give safe harbor to the accused.”

The Education Department did not return a request for comment.