Schools forcing students to waive federal rights in some rape cases


A student at Villanova University who reported allegations of sexual misconduct was asked to sign a form that prevented her from sharing evidence of the case with almost anyone, even her parents. Violating the terms could have affected the outcome of the school’s investigation into what happened.

At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a contract presented to students says that just talking about the process of reporting sexual misconduct could get a student expelled.

At York College of Pennsylvania, one student said he was threatened with academic discipline for telling his story on a podcast, violating a non-disclosure agreement that said he couldn’t discuss his allegations, even though he didn’t name the student he accused of rape. 

These conditions, uncovered in an investigation of school policies for dealing with campus sexual violence, reveal an emerging trend: Schools are bullying students who report sexual assault into waiving certain rights before they can proceed with internal misconduct hearings. 



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