Democrats cry foul on Trump education nominee because she supported due-process group

Democrats cry foul on Trump education nominee because she supported due-process group
  1. Democrats cry foul on Trump education nominee because she supported due-process group
    Activist's baseless claim: FIRE 'has routinely argued that sexual assault statistics are overblown.' The post Democrats cry foul on Trump education nominee because she supported due-process group appeared first on The College…
    Education & Family

Having connections to the American Civil Liberties Union used to be enough to get you blacklisted from government service.

In the 21st century academy, it’s another civil liberties group that stirs fear: the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, is being declared unfit to serve not for her best-known cause – K-12 reform and school choice – but because the Michigan billionaire made relatively small donations to FIRE.

Politico reports that the $10,000 DeVos has given to the group are leading critics to question whether she will take campus rape allegations seriously:

DeVos has not spoken publicly about the Education Department’s aggressive approach to campus sexual assault, but women’s groups and Democrats say her donations to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education send a troubling signal. FIRE has sued the administration to raise the standard of proof for victims of sexual assault in university administrative hearings contending [the federally mandated preponderance standard] is unfair to the accused.

The donations are “a red flag,” said Lisa Maatz, the top policy adviser at the American Association of University Women, which advocates for strict enforcement of Title IX, the federal law that governs sex discrimination, harassment and sexual assault on college campuses. “In the absence of an actual record … I think these kinds of donations take on even greater importance, because we have to rely on her contributions to inform us on particular issues.”

Longtime civil-liberties lawyer Jameel Jaffer, formerly of the ACLU and now at Columbia’s Knight First Amendment Institute, bemoaned the demonization of FIRE.

Another Twitter user saw the ACLU connection as well.

It also got the attention of New York Times columnist Ross Douthat.

Democratic Sen. Bob Casey claims it’s a “radical view” that students accused of sexual misconduct – especially in alcohol-fueled trysts where memories are hazy, evidence is thin and hurt feelings can translate into retribution via disciplinary channels – should be granted procedural protections they would receive anywhere else in American life.

He and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray wrote to Trump last week asking him to keep the preponderance standard – under which a majority of a hearing panel can decide it’s 50.01 percent likely an accused student is responsible – because it’s “correct and appropriate.”

FIRE Director of Research Samantha Harris is floored.

As is the Cato Institute’s Walter Olson, who also runs the law blog Overlawyered.

Campus sexual-assault alarmists are using the Twitter hashtag #DearBetsy to shame DeVos into continuing to deprive accused students of basic due process and interpret Title IX far beyond its literal words:

The campaign is centered onvideo narratives from sexual assault survivors and allies telling Betsy DeVos what Title IX has meant to them.

It should be noted, as does Politico, that the contributions from DeVos and her husband went to FIRE in 2012 and 2013, when the campus rape panic had not yet reached a fever pitch:

Defending the rights of those accused of campus sexual assault or harassment is one of the group’s top priorities, although it advocates more generally for the individual rights of students and professors. The donations are modest compared to the DeVos’ vast political and charitable giving.

A spokesperson for a group defending DeVos said she takes sexual assault “very seriously,” and called it wrong to “extrapolate” from her FIRE donations “how she may come down on a hypothetical public policy question.”

She has met with a leading critic of the campus rape evidence standard, Republican Sen. James Lankford, “in recent days to discuss the standard, among other issues,” according to a Lankford aide.

FIRE itself warned against making its advocacy into a “partisan issue” because of the DeVos donations:

While the national focus in recent years has been on sexual misconduct cases specifically, FIRE has long advocated for due process rights in campus proceedings more generally. As FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff…

  1. Program for mentally ill students in Hernando schools has faced delays
    01.15 / 21:28
    Teachers qualified for kids with mental problems are hard to find fast, officials…
  2. Pasco, USF seek statewide forensics research lab
    01.15 / 21:26
    By C.T. Bowen LAND O'LAKES — Pasco County is seeking to become home to a proposed statewide forensic anthropology research and training…
  3. Study explores link between college debt, 'boomerang' effect

    01.15 / 21:19
    While both college debt and the "boomerang" phenomenon are growing, a new study casts doubt on the notion that staggering student loans are driving young adults back to their parents' doorsteps…
  4. Education crusade would taint Sandoval’s time as governor

    01.15 / 21:17
    Months after the Nevada Supreme Court issued a permanent injunction against the education savings account law’s implementation, it’s all but a given that Gov. Brian Sandoval will try to pluck it …
  5. Pay gap between college grads, everyone else at a record

    01.15 / 21:15
    College graduates, on average, earned 56 percent more than high school grads in 2015, according to the Economic Policy Institute. That is the largest such gap since…
  6. Students and staff unhappy with Portland State decision to open on coldest morning of the year

    01.15 / 21:13
    Portland State University, in a message on their Facebook page, told staff and students classes would start late, at 10…
  7. UO student wants $3 million over meningitis response

    01.15 / 21:11
    A University of Oregon student seeks $3 million in a lawsuit against medical providers who she says failed to properly diagnose her with meningococcal disease in…
  8. Local author and illustrator comes out with 'Sweet Pea's Christmas'

    01.15 / 21:11
    Just in time for Christmas, local author and illustrator, Marcia Leiter has a brand new Christmas picture book out for kids. "Sweet Pea's Christmas" is the humorous tale of a bunny named Sweet Pea and how she prepares for the 182 Christmas guests she learns are coming for a holiday visit.…
  9. When the 4-year-old starts questioning Santa Claus

    01.15 / 21:10
    I can remember the moment it happened, though I can't remember exactly how old I was. Maybe 8 or 9. The letter from Santa sat on the table, perched next to the crumb-covered plate where Pillsbury Slice-and-Bake cookies had been the night before. I could hear his booming, cheerful voice in my…
  10. In an era of specialty sports, a growing consensus encourages well-rounded young athletes

    01.15 / 21:09
    As the father of three sports-loving children and president of the Elkridge Youth Organization, which operates a wide variety of sports programs, Chris Jakubek knows a thing or two about young people and sports. One of the things he knows is that it’s better for a young person not to play the s…
  11. Oregon schools must make up lost school days -- or get a waiver

    01.15 / 21:07
    Unless the state grants a waiver, schools will have to add back nearly all the days they have cut for snow -- which is six so far in most Portland-area districts and even more in central Oregon and the Columbia…
  12. 3 kid-friendly activities in Howard County in January

    01.15 / 21:07
    Every year, health and wellness goals top Marylanders’ lists of New Year’s resolutions. But sticking to those resolutions, especially if you have kids, is notoriously tough. Thanks to a handful of engaging, family-oriented programs, Howard County families have a fighting chance at achieving tho…
  13. Ellicott City mom teaches kids about the fun in healthy cooking

    01.15 / 21:06
    Kimberly Young is, as she puts it, “not a size 6.” The Ellicott City resident may not fit the stereotypical image of a healthy eating guru, but that she is. Young is a trained culinary nutritionist who founded the nonprofit Love My Body and later her company Healthy Little Cooks to encourage hea…
  14. Photos: OU vs. Eastern Michigan Men’s Basketball Game 1/14/2017 - Education
    01.15 / 18:32
    The post Photos: OU vs. Eastern Michigan Men’s Basketball Game 1/14/2017 appeared first on WOUB…
  15. Here’s What Google, Apple and Microsoft Should Do to Compete with Amazon Alexa [VIDEO] - Education
    01.15 / 18:23
    It cannot be deny that Amazon has dominated the artificial intelligence industry today with Alexa that first appeared in Amazon Echo. Unexpectedly, three tech giants Google, Apple and Microsoft still not an inch closer to the success of the e-commerce company but here’s what they should do to catch up! See full details h…
  16. Nintendo Switch Review: Reportedly Not Worth the Price, Has ‘Useless’ Games; PS4 is Reportedly Better [VIDEO] - Education
    01.15 / 18:22
    Nintendo Switch is one of the most anticipated game console of the year because of its characteristic as a 2-in-1 gaming console. However, many have expressed their disappointments after its official launching. Is it true that Nintendo Switch is a great console but games are utterly useless? Let’s find out the t…
  17. Wichita State students run consulting firm for experience
    01.15 / 17:30
    (AP) — A student-run consulting firm at Wichita State University is giving undergraduates a chance to gain experience and make mistakes before they enter the workplace. The firm, called Barton International Group, offers data analysis, digital marketing, feasibility analysis and market research, The Wichita Eagle ( ) reports. Most participants are business students, although the group is open to all undergraduate students at the university, BIG marketing director C…
  18. Master's programs growing at tribal colleges in North Dakota
    01.15 / 16:53
    SBC Agriculture Division Director Gary Halvorson said both the graduates have gotten good jobs and that he expects the master's program to continue growing as other students see it boost graduates' chances of being successful after graduation. The college sought master's accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission in education, business and was approved in environmental science. Halvorson said SBC is in talks with NASA about acquiring an air quality station so the agency can record…
  19. Police: No injuries in school bus crash near Oregon ski area
    01.15 / 16:52
    (AP) — No injuries have been reported following a crash involving a school bus carrying the Bend High School cross country ski team that struck two vehicles, and then was struck by a tractor-trailer. Oregon State Police tell KTVZ-TV ( that the bus driver on Saturday afternoon went into the oncoming lane of State Highway 35 near Mount Hood to avoid hitting backed-up traffic but slid and struck at least two v…
  20. Vigil held in support of making Cerritos College a sanctuary school - Education
    01.15 / 16:27
    “We’re a bridge, online we’re like the tip of the sphere, pilule we’re the light.” Political Science Professor Dennis Falcon had a message of hope for the community who attended the Tuesday, Nov. 22 Protected Together Candlelight Vigil. The Dream Club along with MEChA de Cerritos College and the Bellflower and Norwalk coalition hosted the […]…