Should Expulsion Be The Default Disciplinary Measure Following a Sexual Assault?

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Should Expulsion Be The Default Disciplinary Measure Following a Sexual Assault?

In a new era of openness and bravery where victims feel more able to speak out and raise the alarm about a sexual assault, they have experienced it has become a challenging situation for institutions such as colleges.

What do they do and how do they respond to these allegations?

Sexual assault allegations are routinely handled by an experienced sex crimes attorney but colleges, for instance, can often be caught in the headlights when it comes to providing the appropriate response.

The default position is often to apply an expulsion policy when someone is found guilty of the allegations made.

The question is whether this should always be the default position.

Difficult to find a compromise

There is a huge moral and legalistic challenge surrounding the disciplinary measure of automatic expulsion.

Some colleges now have a mandatory punishment for students who are found to have committed some sort of sexual assault, and that is expulsion.

If the accused has not been formally charged by the police or the case has not even gone to court at this point, is it fair and appropriate to remove the student on the strength of an allegation, however compelling the story is?

The problem that colleges face in this situation is that they are accused of not protecting a victim of sexual assault if they allowed the accused to remain on campus, pending an investigation.

It is fair to say that there is a finely balanced line between protecting the rights and safety of the accuser and giving the accused the opportunity of a fair hearing and due process.

Hostility in the air

It is not surprising that such an emotive subject provokes an often raw and emotional response from fellow students, on both sides of the argument.

It is not unusual to witness demonstrations on campus when a college is seen as not being tough enough when it comes to protecting alleged victims and dealing with those accused in the right way.

If a student is claiming that they were sexually assaulted by a fellow student on campus should expulsion be the right response or should the accused be suspended pending further investigation?

Case-by-case basis

Some colleges take a harder line than others. In response to a growing number of allegations of sexual assault, there have been ruling changes applied by a number of institutions.

Some colleges have now put a greater emphasis on expulsion as a penalty, but many of them have not fully committed to making expulsion mandatory.

The general approach seems to be a case of making it clear to all students that sanctions in response to claims of sexual assault may include expulsion. This is in line with other policies relating to drug and alcohol issues, for instance.

What seems to be happening is that many colleges are approaching the problem by treating each incident on a case-by-case basis.

Differences in state laws also make the process of applying fair retribution and punishment extremely difficult for colleges. If someone is automatically excluded from campus once an allegation is made against them, some argue that this suggests the accused is automatically guilty of the offense before getting the chance to define their position.

This is a very challenging situation and no one appears to be able to agree that expulsion should be the default position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stacey Chillemi

staceychillemi@staceychillemi.com

The Complete Guide to Natural Healing believes that food, vitamins, supplements, and alternative medicine can be your best medicine. Our staff will show you the truth about health and wellness, so you can help your family and closest friends get even healthier. You’ll learn exactly what you should do and how to eat to get healthy, exercise to get your leanest, healthiest body, and how to take control of your family’s health, using natural remedies as medicine.

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