News Releases

Department of Education moving forward with alarming proposal to undermine protections for students and weaken responsibility for colleges to address sexual assault

Last month, Senator Murray and other Democrats wrote a letter urging Secretary DeVos to slow down and listen to student concerns

Senator Murray: “Today’s news is deeply disappointing but far from surprising”

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement in response to the release by Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of proposed campus sexual assault regulations that would significantly weaken existing protections for students and make it easier for colleges and universities to sweep this critical issue under the rug. These new regulations come despite numerous calls from senators and student advocates to work with students and survivors to address the serious concerns raised following reports of the disturbing direction Secretary DeVos was planning to move in—the vast majority of which were ignored in the proposal released today.

“For those of us who have seen President Trump and this Administration attack and undermine women, their health care, their rights, and their well-being over and over—today’s news is deeply disappointing but far from surprising. With this latest proposal, President Trump and Secretary DeVos are trying to take another step toward sweeping the scourge of sexual assault under the rug, weakening protections for students and survivors, and allowing colleges and universities to shirk their responsibility to keep students safe and in some cases, exempt themselves from their obligations under Title IX altogether without the Department even knowing.

“I am going to stand with women and survivors across the country in fighting back against this proposal and calling on Secretary DeVos to listen to them and do the right thing. And I call on every woman, man, mom, dad, and anyone else who cares about campus safety and preventing sexual assault to make your voices heard and demand that Secretary DeVos and President Trump withdraw this proposal immediately, aggressively implement protections for students, and work with students and survivors to strengthen protections and ensure colleges and universities do everything possible to prevent sexual assault.”