Back-to-School Video Campaign Urges DeVos to Reverse Course and Protect Students’ Rights

Education News 09.10,18

WASHINGTON—This back-to-school season, The Leadership Conference Education Fund launched a new video campaign, “Students Deserve Better.” The campaign aims to ignite viewers to call on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education to reverse course and uphold civil rights for all students.

“Secretary DeVos’ mean-spirited attacks on students’ civil rights are a direct affront to core American values. Tossing aside diversity, inclusion, and protections for all students prevents our nation from fulfilling its potential,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference Education Fund. “As the leader of the Department of Education, DeVos is responsible for enforcing core nondiscrimination laws in schools, and she must do better. All children, regardless of race, national origin, sex, or disability have a right to be safe and supported in school. Our students deserve no less.”

Since her confirmation, DeVos’ actions have demonstrated she is unwilling to protect students’ civil rights. Under her leadership, the department has rescinded important guiding information that clarifies protections for transgender students and survivors of sexual assault; failed to clarify that they will enforce federal laws protecting the rights of immigrant children; scaled back civil rights investigations into systemic discrimination; and chosen a person to head the department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) who lacks a demonstrated record of support for civil rights laws and marginalized communities.

The first video in the series, “Back-To-School Essentials,” can be viewed here.

The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit