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tv   Democrats Criticize Secretary De Vos Approach to Campus Sexual Assault  CSPAN  July 14, 2017 3:17am-3:41am EDT

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caller: at 9:15 pm.m. jason riley discusses his book "false black power," and his argument that blacks are disadvantaged economically by political capital. >> most groups in america have done so with little or no political influence. and groups that have enjoyed early political success have tended to rise more slowly. so, it's not that you can't take the political route. you can. the chances are you are going to rise more slowly than you would taking other routes. >> for more of this weekend's schedule, go to house minority leader nancy pelosi and other members of the democratic women's working group responded to comments about sexual assault on college campuses. the comments were made by candace jackson, head of the education department's office
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for civil rights, who told "the new york times" that 90% of accusations made on campus were made because of alcohol and bad breakups. ms. jackson later apologized for her comments.
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>> thank you everyone for being here to join us to talk about title ix protections for students across our country. leader pelosi, thank you for being here, you have been a tireless advocate on this issue throughout your career. representative frankel, thank you for your leadership, you have led this group to confront tough and important issues we have been facing here. i want to thank all of my colleagues, as well. under title ix law, schools are legally required to remedy hostile educational environments. after years of reports from students that their schools were not responding appropriately to cases of sexual assault, the department made a push in the last few years to enforce this critical law. in recent days, we have been shocked by comments from the department of education that seem to downplay the trauma of sexual assault and undo the progress we have made. comments like this are disqualifying for any public
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official, but it is appalling to hear this sort of victim blaming from of the person charged with protecting our students. we need a highly competent system led by highly competent people, not officials who blame victims. i understand there has been an apology. an apology was certainly be enough if the comments were not indicative of the actions with already seen from the department of education. over the last few months, the department has not missed an opportunity to diminish the power of its office of civil rights. the budget has been last, guidance has been rescinded, crucial problems are being de-prioritized and diminished. i remember when i was in the california state legislature and the supreme court overturned a rape conviction.
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they felt that because the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have consented. in support, we all came together in a bipartisan way to wear jeans to the california statehouse in solidarity. i am proud to say that this tradition continues today in a number of states and countries. we came together because victim blaming has no place in any just society. i am disappointed this is a conversation we are still having. this is about ensuring students have a safe environment on campus. it is in no way an attempt to take away the due process of students. universities must adhere to the rule of law like everyone else. we will not turn back the clock.
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i want to introduce leader pelosi and the rest of my colleagues. >> thank you, congresswoman davis, for your leadership on this issue. you are working for respect for women in the military, as well, and as a member of the education and workforce committee, whose jurisdiction, the education office of civil rights falls. i am honored to be here. as you indicated, with the cochair of the bipartisan women's task force and also the vice chair. i'm also pleased to be here with members of the education and workforce committees. and our newest member from los
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angeles. congresswoman judy chu of california. and from our asian pacific islander office and ranking , a realormer chair fighter for women's right, who brought us together read before the break to condemn what president trump said about mika, it was outrageous. i hope we are not doing this every week. thank you to susan davis o. the point is, and i mention all of my colleagues here, i don't know if they will speak, it is all about respect. as a mother of four daughters, two granddaughters, and many grandsons and a son, it is amazing to me to see the lack of respect some of these people have for women and girls.
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six years ago, the obama administration said enough is enough and joe biden has been a great champion and respecting women and saying it is not your fault. we want the truth to come out, whether it is over 95% of the time. i'm sure you will address that, the truth is that it is not their fault. obama expanded title ix protections and encouraged survivors hope and courage to come forward. now the trump administration is dismantling that progress, attacking title ix protections, which include transgender students, and cutting funding for the office of civil rights. this is inequality and injustice. my comments are about respect for women and strengthening the office of civil rights of the education department, not weakening it. last month marked the 44th in the first week of title ix.
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the stories of how hard it was to pass at the time are legendary. there has always been the snipping away from those who would like to get rid of it. the sad thing is that women still have to face harassment. every woman has a right to feel safe on campus. the survivors and advocates we have been meeting with, we believe you and we will never stop fighting until we wiped out the scourge of sexual assault. campus sexual assault is an epidemic in america. it is unacceptable that one in four women are sexually assaulted on campus. thank you, my colleagues, or bringing us together to point out the outrageous statement from ms. jackson.
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i know there was an apology, but ist does not erase what inside. a yield on to the distinguished chair of the women's task force. >> thank you, leader pelosi. susan davis and all my colleagues here who are often in their own right, great leaders at home and in our congress. let me start by saying that, yes the comments yesterday by candace jackson were in outrage, excusing violent behavior. but even more troubling is they reflect a dangerous attitude at the department of education toward victims of sexual assault. college should be a place to ask and expand your mind, not fear for your safety. students should be chasing dreams, not running from sexual predators. today, betsy devos is meeting with a giving a platform to groups who discount victims and
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protect accused rapists. it is unbelievable. meanwhile, her department of education has issued guidance to weaken title ix and the trump budget proposes cuts. secretary devos, i will repeat something that victims wrote to you yesterday, which is, who are you serving? you are abandoning these women, victims of unspeakable acts forced upon them, like andrea, who you might have read about from my home state of florida, attending unc. she was her high school valedictorian, first of her family to attend college, majored in english, involved in campus life and clubs. she had the highest hopes when she entered college. her freshman year turned into a nightmare. she was drugged and raped at a
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frat party. a year later, she relived the terror, assaulted again, violently attacked and raped in a bathroom at a party. she woke up in a pool of blood with marks on her body. she reported these assaults in the administrators did nothing. one went as far to say that her class performance was deteriorating because she was just lazy. she looked for help, could not find support. the rapists were allowed to stay in school if they just wrote an apology letter. she took action and file a federal complaint. her bravery and activism led to the department cracking down on colleges that don't protect students from sexual assault, as leader pelosi just referenced. for andrea and all the victims on campus, we must continue to defend and enforce title ix, holding people accountable and getting victims the resources
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they deserve. i yield to my cochair in the democratic working women's group. >> i want to thank our leader, nancy pelosi, susan davis, and the chair of our working group, and my colleagues who stand here today. in the movement across the country, the term "stay woke" comes up often. it is about staying aware of what is going on. these women, we've come together as members of congress to say we will not tolerate any sign of disrespect in protection of women. when it comes to accusation of sexual violence, a serious and thorough investigation should never be up to debate. i fully support the protections
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provided by title ix. our students need, they should not want, they need our government to be supportive of a safe education environment and a protection process to report sexual violence, whether it is men or women. the remarks by candace jackson were far from just being ill-advised. leadership, those of us who stand up and say we are going to take on the responsibilities of government position, should never displayed bias or preconceived notions. it is dangerous. when a woman or man stands up to make an allegation of , of beingtion
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sexually assaulted, how dare you make a preconceived notion that 90% of those who come are telling a lie or not being truthful. womens country, for the across this country, so many who are first generation going to college, as the example that was laid out by lois frankel, women who are entering into that next phase of the american dream, that is a college education, how dare you assume and then on top of that, make the assumption that it is not true. every case should be investigated and every case has the responsibility to get the facts. as the secretary of education, i want to say to betsy devos, this is what i expect of you.
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i want you to be open-minded as you meet with constituents today. listen and talk to groups. those that can help advise you on best practices. but i want to be clear, i expect you as our secretary of education to protect our students against sexual violence, to support a safe environment for our students, and i expect you, through investigation of all accusations, treat these cases as serious and one of your highest responsibilities. i want you to know that as we stand here as women, with that ultimate responsibility, we are often asked, what keeps you awake at night? injustice. injustice.
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ignorance and silence keeps me awake at night. we are standing here and saying that will not be part of the women of this congress. i'm so proud to now bring another colleague, a woman who has had a history of being a leader, a voice, and a person who understands that we have a responsibility, and that is representative spears. >> thank you. thank you to nancy pelosi, to susan davis, to the leadership, and to all of us gathered here. there is a simple message you. we are not going back. we're not going back to neanderthal thinking. we're not going back to myths promoted by those who don't know
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the facts. 20% of coeds in colleges are either sexually assaulted or an attempt of sexual assault is made upon them while they are there. 13% of lgbt members and 6% of men. as the leader said, this is an epidemic. six years ago, i took my daughter on college tours. every orientation, the first question asked by parents was, how safe is the school? in orientation, when she went to college, what kind of safety measures do you have in place? republican and democratic parents want to make sure their children are going to schools that have a good record of addressing the issue of sexual assault.
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candace jackson has apologized, but let me share with you what she has said. she said that 90% of investigations fall in the category of "we were both drunk, we broke up and six months later the man finds that he is being and he guesses that sleeping together was not right." those are the words she said. catherine lamont was the director of the civil rights and the obama administration. when she was told this, she said that he was demonstrably untrue. she says when she took that job, she saw jaw-dropping noncompliance by universities of
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title ix as related to sexual assault. so the message here is we're not going back. the guidance that was provided in 2011 must stay in place, that victims must be accommodated, that universities must be held accountable, and this list of shame that some universities are fretting about, that it appears secretary devos is interested in dissolving, is not going away. every family has the right to look at that list and see whether the school they are contemplating to send their daughter or son to his meeting the standards we put in place about accountability, investigations and accommodation of the victims and survivors. >> thank you very much.
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thank you to my colleagues for your leadership. this is such an important issue we are talking about today. students deserve to be safe and feel safe when they are at school or on a college campus and that means all students. that means victims of discrimination and survivors of sexual assault, and our lgbt students. there are a lot of examples where this administration has gone backwards. this is one place where we are saying now, we are not going back. as a parent of a son and daughter and a policymaker, we are not going back. i've had many conversations with survivors of campus sexual assault. i have spoken on campuses with people who are implementing progress under title ix, and we are not going back. these survivors deserve to be
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heard. they deserve to be taken seriously. they need meaningful policies, not flippant remarks. we need someone in charge of civil rights at the department of education who actually believes in civil rights. we are not going back. i tell you, when you talk with survivors of campus sexual assault, you know the challenges they are up against and the progress that we have made has been impressive. i see the steps this administration has taken so far, those steps are going back. we need to work together, speak out and send a message. survivors, you will be heard. we understand there is an issue that needs to be addressed. go talk to your campuses, talk about the work that has been done. campuses are safer. we are not going back. we need to send a strong message today. yes, we want the secretary of
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education to listen to the stories of survivors and hear perspectives, when it comes to civil rights and protections under title ix, do not turn back the page on the progress we have made. we can work together, we can come together and make this happen. we need to talk about prevention in our k-12 system. promoting healthy relationships. we need to have all of the enforcement on campus under title ix that each and every survivor across the country deserves. we hear you, survivors, we will fight for you and we are not going back. thank you. >> i thank my colleagues for being here. i don't know if anybody has any questions. we had a group. there are a few bills up today. thank you, good job.
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>> betsy devos says the current rules for investigating sexual assault on college campuses are not working. she participated in meetings, which came after her department's top civil rights official said the majority of sexual assault claims on college campuses are the result of both parties being drunk. good afternoon, everyone. we had very important conversations today. this was part of my ongoing commitment to hear from all sides of this issue.


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