Survivor Advocates Urge U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee to Block Confirmation of Nominee Kenneth Marcus to lead the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education


WASHINGTON — Today, End Rape on Campus (EROC) and Know Your IX sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions urging them to reject the confirmation of Kenneth Marcus to lead the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education both because of his anti-survivor views and his unwillingness to articulate that he would defend the rights of all students. His inability to understand survivor experiences and needs throughout the Senate hearing on his candidacy exposes concerning blind spots that will particularly impact equal access to education for survivors of color, immigrant survivors, survivors with disabilities, and transgender survivors.

In the letter, survivor advocacy groups stated, “After Mr. Marcus’ public hearing last week, we do not have faith in his ability to carry out his job to ensure survivors have equal access to education as ensured under the laws he would be required to enforce.”

You can read the letter here.

EROC’s Managing Director Jess Davidson issued the following statement:

“Leading the Office for Civil Rights within the U.S. Dep. of Education requires working for the rights of every student. That includes survivors from all walks of life: transgender and queer survivors, survivors with disabilities, and undocumented survivors. So far, Mr. Marcus has only shown apprehension to ensure equal protection under the law and that is unacceptable.

“Confirming Kenneth Marcus after he has refused to condemn any of Trump’s discriminatory statements about Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, and women is irresponsible. His lack of diversity values and real commitment to center the margins are sufficient evidence to deem Mr. Marcus unsuited to lead the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Dep. of Education.

“Mr. Marcus has time again displayed concerning disregard for transparency and accountability by failing to assure survivors and families that the list of schools under investigation for Title IX violations will remain public. He also expressed support for the rescission of the 2011 Dear Colleague Letter, which helped students understand their rights and schools understand their responsibilities. It is clear from his statements, that Kenneth Marcus, if confirmed, would continue to roll back the clock on survivors’ civil rights.”