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Shaheen Admonishes DeVos Over Campus Sexual Assault Policy Repeal

(Washington, DC)—Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to news that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued interim guidance to repeal campus sexual assault policy put in place by the Obama Administration that increased accountability for college campuses to investigate acts of sexual assault:

“I’m deeply disappointed by Secretary DeVos’s decision to roll back measures that were put in place to protect students and increase accountability at college campuses across the country. Repealing this policy undermines efforts to combat sexual assault and creates confusion for universities, including those in New Hampshire, that have taken steps to implement recommendations and policies based on this guidance,” said Shaheen. “The decision to rescind this campus sexual assault policy lacked transparency and critical input from stakeholders. Unraveling these guidelines without feedback or discussion doesn’t help further our goal of getting justice for victims, which has been and must remain our top priority.”

Senator Shaheen sent a letter with her Senate colleagues to Secretary DeVos earlier this month, highlighting the importance of the policy put in place under Title IX and the need for Secretary DeVos to “uphold a fully transparent process, including the opportunity for substantive stakeholder engagement in the development of any potential changes to the Department’s enforcement of Title IX.” The letter also asked the Secretary to respond to the letter before issuing guidance to rescind the campus sexual assault policy. DeVos did not respond to the letter before issuing interim guidance to repeal the policy on Friday.