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Until very recently, the Boston regional office of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) had never accepted a complaint filed by a man alleging sexual harassment. In the recent instance, the complaint was accepted on appeal, according to a source, and may have been granted after recent criticism of the office’s alleged discrimination against men.
A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Kursat Christoff Pekgoz, who has filed multiple complaints alleging anti-male bias at various institutions across the country, revealed that the Boston office had never previously accepted a Title IX complaint in the sexual harassment category from a male accuser or an accused male since 2011, when the Obama administration implemented new, draconian rules regarding campus sexual assault. At the same time, the Boston office aggressively prosecuted academic institutions, such as Harvard Law School, for alleged bias against female accusers.
The office accepted the complaint from a male on appeal after the FOIA documents were received.
The Boston office did not respond to a Daily Wire inquiry prior to press time.
As Pekgoz explained to The Daily Wire, the “overwhelming majority of Title IX complaints in OCR’s docket are either Title IX: sexual harassment complaints, which can be filed either by accusers or the accused, or complaints about athletic facilities.” A tiny percentage of cases are labeled “other,” and refer to cases such as those filed by Pekgoz that challenge female-only programs at various colleges and universities.
One recent complaint Pekgoz filed, which was dismissed by the Boston office, was in response to the recent guidelines put out by the American Psychological Association (APA) claiming traditional masculinity was “harmful.” Pekgoz filed the complaint against Harvard University, alleging the university discriminates against men because it is a “sponsor and accomplice of the APA.” As part of the complaint, Pekgoz alleged that “By using APA’s guidelines, Harvard University discourages men from seeking counseling services.”
“No reasonable male person would seek counseling at a clinic where his gender is considered to be a form of mental illness (or a driving factor for mental illness),” the complaint continued. “Such dissuasion is prohibited by Title IX.”
When dismissing Pekgoz’s complaint,” the Boston office said that the content of the guidelines was the issue, and that Harvard was not responsible for those guidelines.
“OCR determined that while you disagree with the Guidelines, you did not provide any information indicating that the University took actions with respect to the Guidelines that subjected men to different treatment, denied them any aids, benefits or services, or were otherwise discriminatory based on sex.”
Pekgoz told The Daily Wire he would not appeal the dismissal.
Hans Bader, an attorney in the Education Department’s Office of General Counsel, who has been a staunch critic of the Department’s sexual assault policies that were unfair to men, said OCR, in this instance, made the right call. Bader said in an email responding to Pekgoz (which he allowed The Daily Wire to quote) that he didn’t believe “Harvard’s mere ties to the APA create a hostile environment, even if its guidelines are to some extent sexist in how they treat masculinity.”
Further, Bader said that “Disputes about appropriate treatment should be resolved through academic and scholarly debate, not administrative dictates from Washington.”
Pekgoz’s complaint fell into the “other” category. While his complaint may have been dismissed for valid reasons, it would be difficult for the Boston office to justify why out of all the complaints it has received, it has until recently never accepted one from a male alleging to have been sexually harassed or treated unfairly.