Education Secretary Betsy DeVos slammed Sen. Patty Murray Tuesday, saying the Washington Democrat's comments on a draft plan outlining possible reforms to campus sexual misconduct policies were "completely false and you know it."
"It’s also unbecoming and irresponsible of a U.S. Senator to sow fear and falsehood," DeVos tweeted Tuesday. "Our efforts will restore #DueProcess and support all students, including survivors."
This is completely false and you know it, @PattyMurray. It’s also unbecoming and irresponsible of a U.S. Senator to sow fear and falsehood. Our efforts will restore #DueProcess and support all students, including survivors. https://t.co/bo1G98Drrn— Betsy DeVos (@BetsyDeVosED) October 16, 2018
DeVos' response was to Murray's Monday tweet that accused the Education Department of wanting to "weaken student protections" under Title IX so "a woman could be thrown out for using birth control," among other examples. The senator also attached a letter from her office calling on DeVos to postpone the department's rulemaking process to engage in further stakeholder consultation among concerned "students, parents, and school personnel."
Sec. @BetsyDeVosED's wants to weaken student protections so—— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) October 15, 2018
an unmarried mother may be denied admission,
a woman could be thrown out for using birth control
& an LGBTQ student could be subjected to cruel punishment at school.
This is unacceptable. https://t.co/GhMBXoctF5
Eli Zupnick, Murray's communications director, defended his boss Tuesday, asserting Murray's tweet was tame in comparison to President Trump's Twitter account.
“Senator Murray’s absolutely accurate assessment of the leaked Title IX draft clearly struck a nerve with Secretary DeVos as she seems to be scrambling to do damage control on a proposal that is getting massive pushback from women and students across the country who want protections against campus sexual assault strengthened, not weakened," Zupnick told the Washington Examiner in a statement.
A draft plan of the proposal was reported by the New York Times in August. The changes would strengthen the rights of students accused of inappropriate behavior, while reducing the potential legal exposure of higher education institutions. They would also promote more school-based support for alleged victims. The suggested regulations are still subject to change.
The Education Department is considering amending the current framework after the Trump administration rescinded Obama-era guidance on the issue in September 2017, which critics said placed an unfair burden on accused students and schools