Trump flunky thinks sexual assault survivors don’t need protection

❝ The education department is rescinding Obama-era guidelines, a move survivors and advocates have long feared.

❝ On Friday the Department of Education announced it would rescind the Obama administration’s 2011 guidelines on schools’ responsibilities under Title IX, a move advocates have long feared would discourage survivors from reporting assault and encourage schools to use unfair or ineffective investigation practices.

Schools do need to do a better job of responding to sexual assault allegations and protecting students. But DeVos’s approach — which has included taking advice from those who have questioned and targeted sexual assault survivors — is likely to do more harm than good…

❝ In a speech at George Mason University, Betsy DeVos listed a number of situations in which she argued that “the failed system” put in place by the Obama administration had resulted in inequities either for survivors or for students accused of sexual assault. And she argued that “overreach” by schools and “the heavy hand of Washington” had ruined the lives of survivors and the accused alike…

Even before this announcement, the education department had sent strong signals that enforcing the 2011 letter wasn’t a priority. The department announced this summer that it would no longer require investigators to collect data on schools’ past behavior as part of civil rights investigations. This indicates to schools that the department will be less thorough in looking into whether they are following the guidelines or not.

Blaming the victim is back in fashion in Congress and the White House. Trump installing Betsy DeVos in charge of Education at the Cabinet level pretty much assured that.

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