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Public Comment — Registering College Students as Sex Offenders

[medium.com m- 8/16/18] [posted by John DavisJohn Davis, a retired public official and international lawyer and writes on current gender issues]

From Perses institute
Washington, D.C.

Public Comment — Registering College Students as Sex Offenders

Re: 83 Fed. Reg. 37,526 (August 1, 2018)
30 Day Notice of Action (copy attached)

Email Dispatch: Samantha.Opong@usdoj.gov; OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov

Dear Samantha Opong:

The Perses Institute is a global NGO that fosters gender balance and equality in institutions worldwide.

We respectfully submit comment on the agency’s proposed collection of information on Campus adjudications of sexual misconduct, and, any proposed agency action that may, intentionally or otherwise, gather information that pertains to the assembly of information (on policies or procedures or otherwise) that could be used to further the ability, of the public, to shame, punish or banish individual students, or other persons accused on college campuses of sexual misconduct.

Executive Abstract

We believe the agency’s proposed action exceeds its delegated authority and purpose under the enabling statute. 42 U.S.C. § 16911 (2018)[1] The proposed action calls for the massive collection of hearsay information on sexual misconduct on campuses that may include large amounts of information (and misinformation), including personal information on accused persons, who have not been “convicted” of any crime or sexual offense. Campus adjudications of sexual misconduct are NOT criminal proceedings and do not have the due process protections of criminal proceedings, to insure the circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness of the proposed data collection, necessary to protect the privacy interests, or, substantive due process interests of persons accused of sexual misconduct on college campuses.

The Agency’s proposed action assembles information on methods used to shame, punish and banish accused individuals that would result, if made public, in punitive measures against accused individuals who have not had the benefit of due process of law in the adjudication of their alleged sexual misconduct. Although the purpose of the data collection by the agency may be academic to the agency, there is a real possibility that the information could be made public through many channels, with the agency proposing no safeguards to protect the substantive due process or privacy interests of the affected accused.

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  1. Ron

    I don’t know why but the school systems (including University systems) have been incrementally taking people’s (and parents) rights away. I believe it started with the dress code. Students were not permitted to wear clothing if someone might be offended. It then went to vending machines. No snack foods. Soon they were chiding parents who didn’t pack thier kids a healthy lunch. This while the schools claimed ketchup was a vegetable. Now this. The school administrators recordé are be treated as convictions.
    National, state, county, city, and now school. – how many levels of nanny government are really needed?

    • Hysteria

      I would Love to compare the number of advanced degrees held by registrants against those held by those making these judgments. I personally know of 3 Doctors, a couple of master’s and myself and others holding a B.S. (myself- 2 semesters shy of Master’s). All have what is to considered tier 1 offenses. Yet the public isn’t allowed to see a valuable , hard working fellow citizen. They are told we are dangerous and have no place among them.

  2. TS

    May this be the start of a long and fruitful use of Judge Matsch’s decision for the good. This is the first time I have seen it used to support another effort.

  3. Tim Lawve

    It seems to me Judge M is protecting his turf. It also implicates his relational association with a global NGO. NOT SURE WHAT’S WHAT. This damn tin foil hat is working me over.

    • TS

      @Tim Lawve

      Say what? Judge M is doing nothing of the sort. His decision is being referenced for a greater good.

      • Tim L

        I’d rather it be this judge in Roberts’ seat on SCOTUS. He certainly has more courage and honesty. The judge here foresees a problem with the data collection purpose while JJ ignored the obvious in AK v Doe- Smith V Doe. JJ gotta go IMO!

  4. Dustin

    Strikes me as “conviction by accusation only in college is wrong, but conviction by accusation only in court is acceptable.”

    All fine and good to talk about due process and constitutional rights in court. But we can’t keep overlooking that most of those rights are disregarded and waived by public defenders and many private practice attorneys who are more than willing to take payment for SO and DV cases but don’t want to win them to avoid being branded as “child molester/wife beater friendly”.

    Substitute “public defender” for “college adjudication” in the above letter and send it to the state supreme courts and I’d feel a lot better about the effort. But it’s still better than nothing, I guess.

  5. USA

    Great article. I have a suggestion. I went back to school and obtained an MBA. I’ve also read many of you have/or are going back to school. I lost a professional license years ago in healthcare. I would like to know what jobs can people required to register do?

    • Hysteria

      You can do anything. It’s the narrow view of the prospective employer that will be the limiting factor. I know a Phd that can’t find a job. Very accomplished businessmen that are cutting grass. An airline pilot that paints houses. Your MBA will get you in the door. Your registration will get you shown the door. Good luck.

    • CR

      There are some jobs that you are legally forbidden to do. There are some professional licenses you cannot obtain. Check your state laws. The forbidden categories typically involve work that, for the most part, you’d expect to be barred from.

      Aside from that, it is as Hysteria said. In most cases, it is the prospective employer that is the barrier. I’m in the IT industry. Jobs in my industry are hard for a registrant to land, and also hard for those with any kind of conviction. I had the fortune to find a small software development firm that hired me, based solely on my resume and a professional recommendation from a mutual acquaintance. No job application form to fill out, and no background check (as far as I know). I make a lot less than I used to in my former job, but it’s still pretty good, and I’m grateful to be employed. The moral of that story is don’t be discouraged and don’t give up if you get turned down repeatedly for jobs you are qualified for because of your criminal record. Just keep looking.

      Working for yourself is often your best option, but even that may not last if your customers or your competitors or plain old self-righteous nosey busybodies find out about your offense.

      • Tim Moore

        Maybe we should not rely on this rugged individual model for success. It doesn’t lift up but a few, especially if you are from a despised group. We should help each other make a living. I have giving work to registrants, and they help me by doing so. Of course, being a “sex offender” run and managed company is risky. What isn’t when you are on the registry? Maybe it is a time for inovation and not doing things according to established structures but what is best for us as a whole.

  6. USA

    Good job CR! Your comments are both well thought out and well stated. I have an MBA with an expunged offense. So, I’ve passed background checks. I’m probably not capable of obtaining a professional license. As noted, California has altered their hiring laws. I think a section regarding employment would be a good idea to re visit! Good luck!

  7. KFM CSU/UC

    Why did we all get OFF TOPIC ?, lets chat about gaining access to campuses to attend coursework, lab and classes for our certification and / or our degree or just continuing edu.
    We have to go to PD/SO close to campus covering and the security office if not campus pd, and register.
    Pic taken and noted, some flyer the classes and some just notify the class Instr/Prof or adjunct prof. of the student’s class *Reg. Citizen.
    So, it is bewildering for a student in the same class to whisper to other classmates, no less a public safety course, that the person there is on their security roster as an S/O *Reg. Citizen.
    Hard to keep going and concentrating in class and being shunned away and thus less participation with peers.

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