ON-Lion Letter

The U.S. Department of Education has recently presumed to redefine Title IX to include new directives -- including "transgender accommodation" for males who declare themselves female to be able to use female facilities, the ways in which allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault should be investigated and adjudicated, and considering any unwelcome "verbal conduct of a sexual nature" as "sexual harassment."

Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) in Bartlesville, Okla., objected to these reinterpretations of Title IX in May.  Piper is a recipient of the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Prize for Academic Freedom, which is supported by Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

"Oklahoma Wesleyan will not comply with any mandate that compromises the privacy of a woman's locker room, bathroom and shower," Piper wrote.  "We will not deny our students their right to due process when they are accused of a crime or when they suffer as its victim.  Finally, we will not accept the arrogance of any state official trying to tell us what we can and cannot think or say on our campus or in our classrooms."

The Department of Education's "overreach in these matters is about as unconstitutional and anti-liberal as you can get," he concluded.  "This is a university, my land.  It is not a police state or a kangaroo court."

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