Saturday, July 15, 2017

Every Student Deserves to Be Heard - Lily's Blackboard

Every Student Deserves to Be Heard - Lily's Blackboard:

Every Student Deserves to Be Heard

Students who are victims of sexual assault or harassment are often afraid they won’t be believed or taken seriously, and terrified they’ll be victimized in a different way by people who refuse to investigate their claims and even insinuate that they “asked for it” based on what they wore, said, or did.
Rather than reassuring and supporting students, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the department’s head civil rights lawyer, Candice Jackson, are intensifying these fears and letting them know, in no uncertain terms, that their safety is not a priority.
Under DeVos, the most unqualified, out-of-touch secretary ever to head the department, guidance issued to schools and campuses in 2011 encouraging students to report sexual assault or harassment is being questioned. The guidance did not establish new law; it simply clarified schools’ responsibilities under Title IX, which bans sex discrimination in any federally funded education program.
In justifying the department’s skepticism, Jackson told The New York Times that most sexual assaults reported on campuses “fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,’ ‘we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right.'”
Jackson has since apologized for her callous, offensive words. She says she was “flippant” and would never “diminish anyone’s experience,” particularly since she is a rape survivor herself. But in my view, she’s already done damage to students’ actual safety, as well as their sense of safety.
This only exacerbated actions by DeVos. The education secretary spent hours meeting with individuals and groups Every Student Deserves to Be Heard - Lily's Blackboard: