Dept. of Ed Official: I'm Sorry for 'Flippant' Remarks on Rape

Civil rights chief said 90% of accusations 'fall into the category of 'we were both drunk''
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 13, 2017 5:33 AM CDT
DeVos Underling Under Fire for 'Flippant' Campus Rape Remark
In this June 6, 2017, file photo, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The Education Department's civil rights chief says she's sorry for making "flippant" remarks attributing 90% of campus sexual assault claims to both parties being drunk. Wednesday's apology by Candice Jackson, acting assistant secretary for civil rights, came on the eve of a series of meetings that her boss, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is holding to examine the impact of the Obama administration's stepped-up efforts to hold schools accountable for investigating sexual violence, the AP reports. Jackson was quoted in the New York Times on Wednesday as saying federal rules have resulted in many false accusations under the law known as Title IX. In most investigations, she said, there's "not even an accusation that these accused students overrode the will of a young woman."

"Rather, the accusations—90% of them—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 is quoted as saying in an interview. In her statement of apology, Jackson said she was a rape survivor. "I would never seek to diminish anyone's experience," she said. "What I said was flippant, and I am sorry." Meanwhile, Dem senators are coming down on DeVos for her approach to campus rape, including her decision to meet with a men's rights group that suggests half of all sexual assault reports are lies, per BuzzFeed. "It is disturbing that the Department of Education would place these radical groups on the same level as those working tirelessly to confront the crisis of sexual assault on our campuses," Sen. Bob Casey said in a letter. (More Department of Education stories.)

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