February 6, 2017
By Olympia Duhart
(Womensenews) —Here’s some free advice for Betsy DeVos, (click here) the billionaire nominee tapped by President Donald Trump to head the Department of Education: Do your homework.
Over the past several years, sexual assaults on U.S. college campuses have become an epidemic. Twenty-three percent of female undergraduate students have experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact, according to reports. Not only can this leave the student struggling with physical and emotional damage caused by the assault, survivors continue to be stigmatized. Some colleges also choose to sweep reports of these assaults under the rug.
Given that, it was very troubling that DeVos failed the series of questions she was asked during her Jan. 17 confirmation hearing about Title IX, the 1972 law that says that any federally-funded educational program must ensure safety and protection against sexual discrimination. The Trump nominee for secretary of education should have been better prepared for this topic.
Instead, DeVos refused at her hearing to articulate a firm commitment to using Title IX to respond properly to sexual assault on college campuses. Her answers side-stepped the issue and did not signal a pledge to use the weight of federal civil rights law to stop sexual assault at colleges and universities....