Students Deserve Better: New Website Urges Department of Education to Protect Students’ Rights

Education News 01.3,19

January 3, 2019

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398, [email protected]

WASHINGTON — The Leadership Conference Education Fund today launched a new website, “Students Deserve Better,” to hold the Department of Education and its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) accountable for an unwillingness to protect students’ civil rights.  The campaign aims to empower parents and other education advocates to raise their voices and press Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her department to reverse course and uphold civil rights for all students.

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 Under her leadership, the department has rescinded important guiding information that clarifies protections for transgender students and survivors of sexual assault; failed to clarify that the department will enforce federal laws protecting the rights of immigrant children; scaled back civil rights investigations into systemic discrimination; and chosen a head of OCR who lacks a demonstrated record of support for civil rights laws and marginalized communities.

“Often times parents and other education advocates may not know what to do in response to the terrible things this department is doing, but they have the power to demand that DeVos do her job and enforce core nondiscrimination laws in schools. Through this website, education advocates will have a say. 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,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference Education Fund.

In conjunction with the campaign’s launch, The Leadership Conference Education Fund also released a second video, “Betsy’s Detention,” as part of a video series announced last summer.

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