Biden admin reverses decision to stop Trump-era data collection on sexual assaults committed by teachers

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The Biden administration said Monday it was withdrawing its proposal to stop Trump-era data collection on sexual assaults committed by teachers in U.S. schools.

Last month’s controversial proposal would have continued to include the number of documented incidents at a given school, but retired Trump-era reporting on “rape or attempted rape, or sexual assault” allegations that were followed by “a resignation or retirement prior to final discipline or termination.” 

In total, it proposed removing five data elements that the department said it would keep on Monday.

Department of Education building, Washington, D.C. (Photo by: Robert Knopes/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Former Secretary Betsy DeVos reportedly added those provisions for 2020-2021 data collection, but that was delayed due to COVID-19. 

In a statement provided to Fox News, DeVos echoed her previous criticism of the administration.

“The unbelievable decision to remove these questions and sweep teacher-on-student sexual assault under the rug in the first place showed this administration makes every decision based only on what the union bosses and radical left allies demand,” she said.

Former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos attends the "Getting America’s Children Safely Back to School" event in the State Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 12, 2020. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s sad they had to be publicly shamed and embarrassed into doing the right thing for students.”  

Monday’s announcement in the Federal Register and on offered little in terms of explanation. 

On Wednesday, an Education Department spokesperson told Fox News: “The Department has reissued the proposed 2021-2022 Civil Rights Data Collection, with a new 60-day comment period, to allow for public comment on additional questions.”

In November, an Education Department spokesperson defended the initial decision as a way to “reduce burden and duplication of data.”

Miguel Cardona speaks after President-Elect Joe Biden announced his nomination for Education Secretary at the Queen theatre on Dec. 23, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

“The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) strives to ensure the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) data are an accurate and comprehensive depiction of student access to educational opportunities in school districts,” the spokesperson told Fox News.

“For the 2021-22 CRDC, OCR will continue to collect data on the number of documented incidents of offenses committed by school staff, including rape or attempted rape, and sexual assault. These are data the CRDC has collected since 2015-16. We propose retiring data on the number of allegations made against school staff to reduce burden and duplication of data. This is a proposal and OCR welcomes feedback on this proposal from the public during the 60-day comment period.”

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