It seems all conservatives are good for is infringing upon the rights of anyone who isn’t a wealthy white person. Whether it’s the rights of minorities, same-sex couples, or women, if you’re not a rich white dude, conservatives think you should sit down and shut up.
That point was proven Thursday, when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced she would be altering an Obama-era policy guiding colleges and universities on how to handle sexual assault cases, to better protect perpetrators who are accused of committing sexual assault, POLITICO reports.
During a speech at George Mason University’s Arlington campus, she criticized the Obama administration for having good intentions in making the policy, but ultimately falling flat on achieving any truly beneficial results.
‘Justice demands humility, wisdom and prudence. It requires a serious pursuit of truth. Survivors, falsely accused students and educational institutions both K-12 and higher education. A conversation that excludes some includes none.’
DeVos went to assert that the Obama administration failed to protect and/or aid those falsely accused of sexual assault or harassment by failing to provide due process. She said she feels the system is biased toward finding an alleged perpetrator of sexual assault guilty.
She went on to try to say she will hear opinions regarding the revamp from all sides of the aisle.
‘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.’
The Obama administration guidance DeVos references, was enacted in 2011 and threatens to withhold funding from colleges and universities that don’t do enough to protect students from campus sexual assault/harassment.
DeVos added Thursday:
‘Washington’s push to require schools to establish these quasi-legal structures to address sexual misconduct comes up short for far too many students. The current system hasn’t won widespread support, nor has it inspired confidence in its so-called judgments.’
However, she failed to invite advocacy groups to the announcement, despite previously meeting with the education secretary in July to discuss the matter. Many survivors who had met with DeVos previously said they felt cut off from the conversation by not being present Thursday.
Jess Davidson, the managing director of End Rape on Campus, said it “feels a little bit like paying lip service to the importance of having survivors in the room.”
She continued, adding:
‘I think there’s been a really concerning false equivalence of the concerns of survivors and the accused throughout this entire process with the Department of Education.’
Others demonstrated outside the university ahead of DeVos’ speech. One demonstrator, Chessy Prout, was sexually assaulted in high school before subsequently changing schools. She told POLITICO:
‘It’s really telling us that we don’t matter, that our pain is not relevant to people in power.’
The Department of Education will seek the public’s input on a better way to enforce Title IX sex discrimination laws and to protect students rights.
According to DeVos, “One student’s rights cannot be paramount to the rights of another.”
Featured Image via Getty Images.