ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced its endorsement of the campus due process protection bills on Friday.
The bills, known as Title IX, is undergoing consideration in the Missouri General Assembly. As it stands, the bills are aiming to ensure all students attending a Missouri college or university, both the accused and accuser, have proper rights to legal representation, to review the evidence against themselves, and to present their own evidence.
The language also ensures that college and university students have the right to challenge or cross-examine the testimony of witnesses as well as reject any decision-makers who have exhibited bias or a conflict of interest.
“The denial of due process at Missouri’s colleges disproportionately impacts African American men and that’s why we call for immediate due process reforms,” the NAACP said.
Additionally, the organization announced its support of individuals advocating for the due process, including David Steward, a board of trustee member for Washington University-St. Louis and co-founder and chairman of World Wide Technology.
Wash U notably is one of the strongest opponents of this due process.
“We have witnessed a coordinated campaign to attempt to destroy David Steward’s exemplary reputation simply because he had the courage to stand up for civil rights on our college campuses,” the NAACP said. “These thinly veiled attacks are being organized by individuals and institutions who wish to distract from their poor record of protesting due process rights on Missouri campuses.”
As a former and current trustee of universities located in Missouri, NAACP shared their belief of Steward’s “in-depth working knowledge” of Title IX proceedings, as well as its “lack” of due process.
The organization shared its support of individuals who have the resources and courage to support, shed light, and effect change on a civil rights issue, the denial of due process to African American men on college campuses.
“The NAACP applauds the House Judiciary Committee for their leadership in crafting a common-sense compromise bill that will protect students on every college campus…and stands firm in its historic pursuit of liberty in the face of injustice,” the NAACP said.