President Joe Biden’s Department of Education will no longer ask school districts for data pertaining to teacher-on-student sexual assault allegations, according to Fox News.
As part of its 2021-2022 Civil Rights Data Collection, the department’s Office for Civil Rights is set to terminate questions put in place by former President Donald Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that sought to provide a fuller understanding of sexual violence perpetrated by teachers and staff against students.
The department will no longer ask school districts to “report pending cases or cases in which a school staffer was reassigned to another district school prior to the conclusion of an investigation,” according to the Washington Free Beacon. Though it will still ask districts to report documented cases of rape and sexual assault, the department will no longer report cases in which allegations of sexual assault resulted in the resignation or retirement of school staff.
While an Education Department spokesman told the Free Beacon that the changes sought to “reduce burden and duplication of data,” Kimberly Richey, former Trump acting assistant secretary in the Office for Civil Rights, said, “This is the ultimate act of bowing to the teachers’ unions.”
In response to the move, DeVos told Fox News, “This is a sickening move, and every American should be outraged.” DeVos concluded that “There is no rational way to justify sweeping teachers sexually assaulting students under the rug. The only explanation is that the Biden Administration is a wholly owned subsidiary of the teacher union bosses.”
“While I was in Washington, we stopped the unions from ‘passing the trash’ — relocating predator teachers without disclosing their conduct to the new district,” DeVos relayed to Fox News. “We brought districts like Chicago to account and held them responsible for years of hiding hundreds of sexual abuse cases. If you wonder why American families have lost all faith in the education system, this is another example as to why.”
The news of the changes comes as Virginia’s Loudoun County School Board is facing heavy backlash after it allegedly covered up a rape ostensibly in order to have no problems passing a sweeping transgender bill allowing boys in girls’ bathrooms.
Other questions the department will no longer seek the answers to are “whether any of the school’s students, faculty, or staff died as a result of a homicide committed at the school,” “whether there has been at least one incident at the school that involved a shooting,” the “number of allegations made against a school staff member of rape or attempted rape, or sexual assault that occurred at the school, which were followed by a determination that the school staff member was responsible or not responsible for the offense,” the “number of allegations made against a school staff member of rape or attempted rape, or sexual assault that occurred at the school, which had a determination that remained pending,” and the “number of allegations made against a school staff member of rape or attempted rape, or sexual assault that occurred at the school, which were followed by a duty reassignment prior to final discipline or termination.”
While the department will no longer seek that data, it is adding data collection for the coronavirus, as well as a “non-binary option to male/female data categories for those schools and districts that already collect that data.”