Murray Calls for Secretary DeVos to Remove Acting Civil Rights Head After Offensive Comments About Sexual Assault Survivors and Record of Rolling Back Civil Rights Protections
Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson suggested 90 percent of sexual assault accusations stem from intoxication or regret
Jackson’s comments continue a pattern of narrowing the Office for Civil Rights and rolling back protections for students
Murray: “Ms. Jackson’s callous, insensitive, and egregious comments regarding sexual assault on college campuses crossed a serious line”
(Washington, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today called for Secretary of Education DeVos to remove Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson from her position following the comments she made regarding campus sexual assault survivors, as well as her three months of work in the acting position that have been focused on rolling back civil rights protections and narrowing the role of this critical office.
“In the three months she has been acting head of the Office for Civil Rights, Candice Jackson’s words and actions have made it clear why Secretary DeVos has chosen to shield her from scrutiny by not formally nominating her for the position and therefore not giving people across the country an opportunity to hear her views on and plans for this critical office and its mission.
“Despite her apology following a public outcry, Ms. Jackson’s callous, insensitive, and egregious comments regarding sexual assault on college campuses crossed a serious line and highlighted her clear biases in this area in a way that, to me and many women and men across the country, should disqualify her from service in the position of top Department of Education protector of students’ right to be safe at school. This was the final straw, but it is not my only concern. Since the day she got on the job, Ms. Jackson has worked to narrow the role of the office, back away from the progress made to protect transgender students, take away the tools and resources the Office for Civil Rights has to protect students, and move it away from its mission to ‘ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights.’
“I call on Secretary DeVos to immediately remove Ms. Jackson from her position as Acting Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights and work with us in Congress to make sure the Office for Civil Rights has the personnel, tools, and resources it needs to fulfill its critical mission and continue making progress to make sure all students can feel safe on campuses.”
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