EROC Denounces Confirmation of Kenneth Marcus as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

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EROC Denounces Confirmation of Kenneth Marcus as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

WASHINGTON — End Rape on Campus (EROC) condemns the U.S. Senate confirmation of Kenneth Marcus as Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. His unwillingness to articulate a commitment to upholding the rights of all students including student survivors, and his dismissal of affirmative action initiatives demonstrate that Mr. Marcus is unfit for the position.

EROC’s Interim Executive Director Jess Davidson issued the following statement:

“The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights must advocate for students from many different backgrounds, including student who are survivors of sexual violence, students of color, transgender and queer students, students with disabilities, and undocumented students. Mr. Marcus has opposed protections for members of LGBTQIA communities, and affirmative action initiatives for members of historically and currently disenfranchised communities. During his confirmation hearing, he indicated that it was not within the Department of Education’s purview to protect the rights of undocumented students. Students and survivors deserve better representation.

“We are especially concerned about his failure to acknowledge that the list of schools under investigation for Title IX violations should remain public, a matter of transparency that has wide, bipartisan support. His support for the rescission of the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter, which helped students understand their rights and schools understand their responsibilities, is further proof Mr. Marcus will not advocate for the rights of all students. Mr. Marcus shared little about his views on Title IX during his confirmation hearing. But what we do know is insufficient, and will not adequately serve survivors.

“I have serious concerns about the ability of an official who has remained silent in instances of racism, and who has indicated he will leave students vulnerable to increased discrimination and violence.”