Frankel Questions DeVos on Dept. of Education’s Trouble Title IX Proposed Rule


Thanks for being here. I’m gonna try to find
some things we can agree about okay so let me just start I want to I want to
talk about sexual assault on college campuses. The Department of Justice
and CDC has repeatedly documented that roughly twenty to twenty-five percent of
women have been sexually assaulted and most commonly by men and I think also
men and maybe about 16 percent rate or something smaller than that but that
women of college age are at the highest risk. So first of all I want to ask you
this I’m assuming that you agree that Title IX schools are required to
respond to acts of sexual violence that impacts students access to education. Do
you agree with that? I would Congresswoman but let me just say that
I’ve said before and I want to emphasize again that one act of sexual violence is
one too many and one student that does not have due process is one too many.
Okay well let me just I just if you could just to reclaim my time to just
two we can, if we have time you could talk about the perpetrators and so forth but
I just, do you agree that that in practice many schools are failing to
protect victims or hold perpetrators accountable? What I know is I’ve heard
from students and I’ve heard from institutional representatives that the
framework that they’d had they’ve had to operate under has not worked for too
many students which is precisely why we are in the process of negotiated
rulemaking. Let me just excuse me let me just I want to find some of things we
can agree on and then we can disagree You, I am assuming you would agree that
people who are subjected to sexual assault experience terror, helplessness,
profound humiliation, and that sexual assaults are among the most the harmful
traumatic experiences. Can we at least agree on that point? Certainly. Okay,
that’s great I think we can both we can all agree
that the response of the survivors’ community is very important for their
recovery. We could agree with that all right that’s good okay say I thought I
know we on this we’re on a good path here and I think we would also agree
that authority figures in schools are in a position of great social authority to
help a recovery. Alright we’re doing well now so I want I want to assume for
a moment that this is a classroom and that we are meeting on a regular basis
all right just take a look around because well you saw the people who are
here. So let’s assume I’m not going to pick any person out that one of the
people in here could be a man or a woman has been sexually assaulted by another
one that’s in the room this is a classroom. Would you agree that a victim
of a sexual assault should not be required to sit in a classroom with a
perpetrator day after day. I think can’t we agree with that?
I would I would agree with that but let me just say, no let’s keeping going. I appreciate and respect your desire to go down this path. I’m reclaiming my time to
ask the next question because we’re doing well I mean come on we’re agreeing.
Alright now here’s my next question. If a of a let’s say well just tell you I’ll say a
woman or a man is sexually assaulted at a fraternity house, should that, by
another classmate should those should the victim be required to sit in the
classroom with the perpetrator of the sexual assault. Congresswoman I
appreciate and respect your desire to continue down this path of questioning
but you know that we are in the middle of the rulemaking on this.
Could you wait but could you just answer my question? It would be inappropriate, no, for me to continue to comment and answer the questions in the way that you’re
posing them. But here’s what I think I think you agree with me that an
assailant shouldn’t be allowed to sit next to a victim and so I’m gonna since
I’m running out of time I guess I have to get to my final question which maybe
we don’t agree on but you you have proposed changes that if a student is
sexually assaulted by a classmate or an off-campus frat
the school is not gonna be liable to investigate and I don’t really
understand that if the frat is on the campus or the frat is across the street
it seems to me that the harm the potential harm to the victim is the same
and what that means is for that victim all that trauma, all that humiliation is
the likelihood that that victim may not go to class, they drop out of school and
it seems to me the university or the college would be subjecting themselves to a
violation of Title IX. Think about it. Thank you. You’re welcome
I yield back. Congresswoman Bustos.

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