Comment on Inside Higher Ed article featuring Brett Sokolow

Comment from Brett Sokolow: “One of the things I told the reporter that did not make it into the article is that some colleges, in the name of upholding Title IX, are placing gag orders on students that prohibit them from talking about an investigation, hearing process, or their own stories. That’s simply a misreading of Title IX by the college. Title IX mandates that colleges conduct confidential investigations, but that mandate imposes the confidentiality on the college, not the participants. It’s smart for administrators to caution students as to what can happen in terms of their own privacy if they do speak out, but improper to tell them not to do so.”

From the article: Brett Sokolow, president of the NCHERM Group, a law firm that handles campus sexual assault cases for students and colleges, said colleges have become too prone to pressuring students to enter into confidentiality agreements between the two sides, even though doing so is a violation of Title IX. But, he said, if the rape accusation listed on the bathroom walls includes students found not guilty by Columbia, the writer is “vulnerable” to defamation.

“This is one of those tough cases where there’s a difference between what a victim knows happens to them and what a college can prove,” he said. “There’s dissatisfaction where there may have been an assault, but evidence isn’t there so the victim feels like the college hasn’t sided with them.”

Click here to read the full article.

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