House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) slammed reports that the Trump administration is looking to roll back Obama-era changes to the handling of sexual misconduct claims by college campuses.
The New York Times reported Thursday that Education Secretary Betsy Devos will be making changes to the Obama-era rules that would increase protections for those accused of sexual misconduct and raise the legal bar for proving a school mishandled complaints.
Pelosi framed the move as “yet another chapter in the anti-student, anti-women and anti-equality agenda of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.”
“The reported plan to roll back critical protections, increase the burden of proof and create extraordinary new barriers to justice for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses is an insult to students,” she said.
“Campus sexual assault is an epidemic in America,” Pelosi claimed, “with one in four women experiencing sexual abuse on college campuses. Seven years ago, the Obama Administration had the courage to say ‘Enough is enough,’ and took historic steps to ensure that every student feels safe at school.”
However, serious flaws have been discovered in the questions used for studies that led to that one in four statistic cited by Pelosi. Many have pointed out that the numbers do not line up with data gathered by the Department of Justice which found the number to be 6.1 out of 1,000 students.
“Democrats will always protect students, victims and survivors – not betray them,” Pelosi concluded. “As we stand firm against this administration’s relentless attacks on the rights of women and students, we will continue to fight For The People to ensure our government works for everyone.”
The proposed changes were defended by NBC host Megyn Kelly Thursday. She accused Obama of eroding due process protections.
Liz Hill, a spokesperson for the Education Department, told Fox News Friday that the draft of the proposed changes, that was obtained by the New York Times, was “premature and speculative” and that they are “in the midst of a deliberative process.”