Civil and Human Rights Coalition to Secretary DeVos: Protect Civil Rights and Support Survivors of Sexual Violence

WASHINGTON - September 22, 2017 -Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement following the announcement by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos that the department is rescinding guidance related to Title IX and schools' obligations regarding sexual violence and educational opportunity:

"The Secretary of Education must follow the law and ensure that students are able to learn in safe environments – today's announcement shows yet again that Betsy DeVos is unwilling to do just that. This is yet another step in Secretary DeVos' ongoing, mean-spirited attack on students' civil rights. While Title IX and its obligations to protect the civil rights of students remain the law of the land, this announcement will only serve to silence the voices of survivors of sexual assault. Campuses must provide all students an educational environment free from sex discrimination and violence, and the department should make it easier, not more difficult, to achieve that goal. Secretary DeVos must remember that equal opportunity in education is a fundamental American value. While the department may be retreating from its obligations, we urge schools to follow the law and provide welcoming and supportive environments for their students."

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of approximately 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its approximately 200 member organizations, visit

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