Betsy DeVos doesn’t give a fuck about college rape victims, and this proves it
‘If everything is harassment then nothing is’
by Jenn Ficarra
Today, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave a speech at George Mason University attempting to course correct issues within the Education Department's Office of Civil rights.
"One rape is one too many. One assault is one too many. One person denied due process is one too many," DeVos stated early on in the speech. She tried to assure the people that "not one more survivor will be silenced" and that moving forward they would get the justice so deserved.
Unsurprisingly, however, DeVos segued to discuss the discriminations and unfair judicial processes accusers of sexual violence also face.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's possible Betsy DeVos might not fully grasp the history and context of Title IX
— Andi Zeisler (@andizeisler) September 7, 2017
'The truth is that the system established by the prior administration has failed too many students'
DeVos praised the Obama Administration for the rigorous efforts to course correct the problems and injustices of sexual violence on campuses but went on to say that "good intentions alone are not enough" and that moving forward the Education Department would be seriously pursuing the truth.
The Education Department's Office of Civil Rights, which has been tasked with enforcing Title IX, has, according to DeVos, been "weaponized" by the Obama administration. DeVos believes that the OCR has "terrified schools" and has been doing more harm than good.
Too many things are classified as harassment, she reminds us, and goes on to say that "if everything is harassment then nothing is." DeVos wants to form strict boundaries and create clear lines between what is and isn't classified as harassment. She doesn't, however, mention what those boundaries or lines are.
Betsy DeVos essentially just took Trump's "many sides" approach to neo-Nazis and translated it to campus sexual assault. #StopBetsy
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) September 7, 2017
'The era of 'rule by letter' is over.'
Moving forward, Secretary DeVos plans to arm schools with the right kind of aid. She believes forcing school administrators to act as lawyers, judges and jury when they are not trained to do so is a disservice to the students.
DeVos wants schools to draw on clergy, medical professionals, counselors, and law enforcement aid when it comes to Title IX cases.
Ultimately, DeVos said “we will seek public feedback and combine institutional knowledge, professional expertise and the experiences of students to replace the current approach with a workable, effective and fair system."
No new clear policy was identified nor was Obama's "Dear Colleague" letter officially rescinded but the message is clear: DeVos plans to change it all.
"We must do better," DeVos said. The problem is, it doesn't seem that DeVos knows what "better" means.
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