The Department of Education has determined that, in cases of alleged civil rights violations at public schools and universities, the way forward is to scale back.
According to the New York Times, new education department officials said mandates imposed under President Barack Obama’s administration led to a “skyrocketing” of civil rights complaints, which “bogged down” the department’s investigators.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who has neither attended nor enrolled her children in public schools, has said that school administrators must obey federal anti-discrimination laws. At the same time, however, she believes that the federal government should have a limited role.
Catherine Lhamon, the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights office under President Obama, warns about DeVos’ approach.
“If we want to have assembly-line justice, and I say ‘justice’ in quotes, then that’s the direction that we should go,” she said, according to The Times.
Extensive investigations identified systemic violations in public schools and universities and led to policy changes regarding racial discrimination, sexual assault on college campuses, and transgender student rights.
President Donald Trump’s proposed budget would cut 40 positions from the education department’s civil rights division.
Candice E. Jackson, who has limited experience with civil rights law, is the acting head of civil rights at the department. Jackson has complained that Stanford University, while she was an undergraduate student, discriminated against her because she is White, according to Pro Publica.
Pro Publica also noted that she has expressed opposition to feminism and race-based preferences. Jackson also edited a book by an economist who denounces the 1964 Civil Rights Act.