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DeLauro Statement on Secretary DeVos’s Final Campus Sexual Assault Rule

May 6, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (May 6, 2020) Today, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, released the following statement after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a final rule on how schools must handle and respond to campus sexual assault and harassment allegations.

"Secretary DeVos’s new rule to address incidents of sexual assault and harassment is clearly and predictably on the wrong side of history. Rather than protecting survivors, these changes requiring a higher burden of proof for survivors and narrowing the scope of misconduct that will be addressed puts fairness and accountability—for both perpetrators and for schools—further out of reach. When students return to classrooms and campuses, we must ensure that they return to an environment that is safe, and where they are protected from sexual violence and harm. Secretary DeVos made that more difficult today.”

“In the broader context, at a time when our nation’s students, schools, and institutions of higher education face unprecedented challenges, we need leadership that promotes unity rather than division. Secretary DeVos’s decision to issue these regulations during a global pandemic is astonishing. The Department of Education has mismanaged billions of dollars in Congressionally-allocated emergency coronavirus relief for students and schools—using it to fund divisive, ideologically-driven policy priorities such as voucher-like proposals called microgrants. The Department should have spent more time following the letter of the law under the CARES Act rather than putting out a rule that significantly undermines protections for victims of sexual assault and harassment. I will work with my colleagues and advocates to pursue all possible routes possible to block this harmful rule.”