Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, is calling for the ouster of the Education Department’s civil rights chief, saying she has shown herself to be unfit for the job.
Candice Jackson, the acting head of the agency’s Office for Civil Rights, triggered fierce criticism last week when she told the New York Times that “90 percent” of campus sexual-assault complaints “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.’”
Jackson apologized publicly, disclosing that as a survivor of rape herself, she believes “all sexual harassment and sexual assault must be taken seriously.” She also apologized privately to assault survivors in a meeting to discuss the department’s role in enforcing Title IX, a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination at federally funded schools.
Murray said Monday that apologizing for such “callous, insensitive and egregious comments” is not enough. Jackson’s words “crossed a serious line and highlighted her clear biases in this area in a way that, to me and many women and men across the country, should disqualify her from service in the position of top Department of Education protector of students’ right to be safe at school,” the senator said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Murray led Democrats’ opposition to DeVos’s confirmation as education secretary and has been a relentless critic since then. She has repeatedly questioned DeVos’s commitment…