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Betsy DeVos makes an ugly admission about her decision to rescind protections for trans students

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Testifying Wednesday before the House Education and Labor Committee Betsy DeVos said she knew one of her very first acts as Secretary of Education could greatly harm transgender students, but she did it anyway.

In February of 2017 Secretary DeVos announced she was rescinding guidance (and telling schools to ignore the law) created by the Obama administration designed to protect the civil rights of transgender students, while helping schools and parents understand best practices surrounding their needs.

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“We know that transgender students are frequently bullied and victimized,” U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) told Sec. DeVos. “We know, also, that the 2016 guidance to schools about transgender students was applauded by education experts, healthcare experts, educators, counselors, pediatricians, psychologists – because it made students safer at school,” Bonamici explained.

“When you rolled back that guidance did you know that the stress of harassment and discrimination can lead to lower attendance and grades as well as depression and anxiety for transgender students?”

DeVos stonewalled, claiming the Education Dept.’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is “committed to ensuring all students have equal access to education free from discrimination,” which is provably false.

Related: First Betsy Devos Came for Transgender Students, Then for the Disabled, Now She’s Targeting Minority Children

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“I do know that,” DeVos finally replied, when pressed.

“Let me ask you this as well,” Rep. Bonamici continued, clearly not satisfied that DeVos was getting the message.

“When you rolled back the guidance did you know that a study recently published by the American Academy of Pediatrics revealed alarming levels of suicide among transgender students? Did you know that as well when you rolled back the guidance?”

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Secretary DeVos’ only response was, “I’m aware of that data.”

Watch their exchange:

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump’s tumbling support among ‘the poorly educated’ may crush his 2020 prospects: report

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When Donald Trump famously declared, “I love the poorly educated” during his 2016 campaign, it was obvious that he was taking a much more populist (or rather, pseudo-populist) approach than Republican presidential candidates were typically known for. And white males without college degrees continue to be a key part of the president’s base. But Washington Post columnist Aaron Blake, analyzing an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Monday, stresses that when Trump is up against a “generic 2020 Democrat,” he finds himself struggling with non-college educated white women.

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Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Republican donors any recession will be ‘moderate and short’

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President Donald Trump has spent the last week claiming that any talk of a recession is a conspiracy theory by the media and part of a leftist coup against him.

The message didn't seem to get to his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who told Republican donors this week that the recession will be a quick one.

Politico reported the comments Tuesday, saying that it was part of a Jackson, Wyoming fundraiser with White House aides Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who are supposed to be "camping" with their family, according to her Instagram channel.

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Former Defense Secretary warns: ISIS is back, and Trump can’t ‘pretend it’s not there’

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former Defense Secretary and CIA head Leon Panetta warned that ISIS is gaining strength in the Middle East again — and that after all of President Donald Trump's boasts that he had utterly defeated the terrorist organization, now it is time for him to get serious.

"Roughly estimated 15,000 ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria now," said host Kate Bolduan. "Secretary Pompeo saying the terror group is, in some ways, stronger than it was three or four years ago. How big of a concern should the news be for Americans?"

"It should be a very serious concern for the president of the United States and for our country," said Panetta. "Because his first responsibility is to protect our country. And we learned from 9/11, the fact that these terrorists have one fundamental aim, which is to attack the United States and attack countries in the West. And now what we're hearing is that ISIS is clearly re-mobilizing to the tune of almost is 15,000-18,000, that are mobilizing into secret cells, mobilizing into attack teams, conducting not only attacks but kidnappings and assassinations and bombings, as we saw in Afghanistan. So this is, in the end, a national security threat that the United States cannot simply stand back and pretend it's not there."

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