GOOD

Trump’s Department Of Education Looks To Limit Civil Rights Investigations In The Nation’s Schools

It’s another attack on America’s most vulnerable students.

Since becoming the Trump administrations’ Education secretary, Betsy DeVos has been dead-set on repealing Obama-era protections for America’s most vulnerable students.

Shortly after taking office, she revoked guidelines that protect transgender students’ bathroom access. Then, in September, her office announced that it was reviewing federal guidelines for handling sexual assault on college campuses, with aims to improve protections for the accused.


Documents leaked to the Associated Press show that DeVos’ department is now taking aim at repealing guidelines from the previous administration that protect students and parents who make civil rights violation claims. Currently, investigations are required to examine whether incidents are part of a broader, systemic problem — but according to the leaked documents, the department will begin limiting the scope of civil rights investigations, treating them as individual complaints.

Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

By limiting the scope of investigations, schools may overlook the systemic issues that lead to alleged violations. When these patterns are left unaddressed, they may fester, proliferating discrimination; yet the proposed policy revisions handed out to civil rights officials at the department last week completely eliminated the word “systematic” from the new guidelines.

Another proposed policy would allow schools to negotiate a resolution with the Office of Civil Rights before any findings are reported to parents in a letter.

“The letter may still reach the same result, but it may be completely diluted of any fact that would inform the parent and the community about what’s going on in the school,” Seth Galanter, who formerly served under Obama's Education Department as the principal deputy assistant secretary for human rights, told the Denver Post.

DeVos’ new policies come at a time when the Department of Education is under the threat of massive budget cuts. Earlier in the year, the Trump administration called for $9 billion — 13.5% of the total budget — in spending cuts for the administration.

If implemented, these cuts would result in the elimination of 40 of the Office for Civil Rights’ 570 employees.

Education
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health

Villagers rejoice as they receive the first vaccines ever delivered via drone in the Congo

The area's topography makes transporting medicines a treacherous task.

Photo by Henry Sempangi Senyule

When we discuss barriers to healthcare in the developed world, affordability is commonly the biggest concern. But for some in the developing world, physical distance and topography can be the difference between life and death.

Widjifake, a hard-to-reach village in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with a population of 6,500, struggles with having consistent access to healthcare supplies due to the Congo River and its winding tributaries.

It can take up to three hours for vehicles carrying supplies to reach the village.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Keith Boykin / Twitter

Fox News and President Trump seem like they may be headed for a breakup. "Fox is a lot different than it used to be," Trump told reporters in August after one of the network's polls found him trailing for Democrats in the 2020 election.

"There's something going on at Fox, I'll tell you right now. And I'm not happy with it," he continued.

Some Fox anchors have hit back at the president over his criticisms. "Well, first of all, Mr. President, we don't work for you," Neil Cavuto said on the air. "I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you, just report on you."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics