by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Walter Block writes for the Martin Center about getting the federal government out of local education decisions.
The present essay is an attempt to make the case for the elimination of the Department of Education.
Why pick on that Department? There are two reasons. One, it was established 31 years ago. We got along without it up until the year of our Lord 1978; we can get along without it now.
But why not pick on Veteran’s Affairs and Homeland Security? They came along even later, so, following a “last in, first out” argument, they should be abolished first. Sorry, they will have to wait. Each department deserves its own moment in the sun.
The second reason for choosing the Educrats for elimination is that they are now in the news, and every op-ed writer worth his salt knows full well there is a journalistic prohibition about writing on any topic that does not have a “peg.” No one, it would appear, ever wants to hear about anything not already heavily discussed in the media.
So, what’s up with the Department of Education? Why are they now hogging up all that ink? First, a little background.
Once upon a time, long, long ago, those accused of rape or sexual harassment on campus were dealt with approximately as they would have been in any other non-university context. There would have been due process, the presumption of innocence, the right for the defense to confront the accuser, the right to an unbiased judge, the right for the defendant to hire a lawyer, and other such hoary traditions of justice.
The underlying principle, then, was that it was better that 10 criminals go unpunished, than one innocent person be found guilty.
But in 2011, a “Dear Colleague” Title IX letter came from the Obama administration. It swept away virtually all of those ancient protections for the accused.