Dear Commons Community,
Senator Patty Murray, the ranking Republican on the Senate Education Committee, is calling on Secretary Betsy Devos to remove Candice E. Jackson as the top civil-rights official in the Education Department after her “callous” comments on campus sexual assault made in an interview with the New York Times. As reported by several media:
“In an interview with The New York Times, published last Wednesday, Ms. Jackson said campus sexual-assault investigations have not been fair to both parties involved. Most cases, she added, lack “even an accusation that these accused students overrode the will of a young woman.”
“Rather, the accusations — 90 percent 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,’” Ms. Jackson said.
Ms. Jackson apologized for her remarks in a statement issued Wednesday evening. “My words in The New York Times poorly characterized the conversations I’ve had with countless groups of advocates. What I said was flippant, and I am sorry,” she said.
But the apology is no salve, Senator Patty Murray said.
“Ms. Jackson’s callous, insensitive, and egregious comments regarding sexual assault on college campuses crossed a serious line,” Ms. Murray continued. This, she added, was the “final straw.”
In a written statement released late Monday, Ms. DeVos said that Ms. Jackson had apologized for her comments, which “reflect neither my position nor the position of the department.”
“They also did not reflect Candice’s position and values,” the statement continued. “Candice is a valuable part of the administration and an unwavering advocate for the civil rights of all students.”