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PNS Daily Newscast - June 23, 2017 


Today on the rundown: the Senate GOP releases a draft of their health-care bill; Tropical Storm Cindy is bringing heavy rainfall to the South; and could Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “tough on drugs” approach fuel mass incarceration?

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Advocates for Safety on NC Campuses Reach Out to Trump Nominee

The #DearBetsy campaign aims to convince Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos that on-campus victims of sexual harassment and assault need protections. (Wolfram Burner/Flickr)
The #DearBetsy campaign aims to convince Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos that on-campus victims of sexual harassment and assault need protections. (Wolfram Burner/Flickr)
January 11, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. – The confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump's choice for Secretary of Education, originally scheduled for Wednesday, has been pushed back one week.

Advocates for safer college campuses and equal rights to education see the delay as an opportunity to reach out to the nominee, Betsy DeVos, and ask her to continue the protections students have received under the Obama administration against sexual harassment and assault.

Annie Clark, executive director of the group End Rape on Campus, explains.

"The campaign, 'Dear Betsy,' is meant to raise issues about all the changes that could happen during the next administration, so folks can voice their opinions," she said. "And a lot of people have come out with their personal stories of surviving sexual assault and how Title IX helps them."

The social-media campaign: #DearBetsy, is a way for people to remind the billionaire philanthropist what's at stake as she works with the president-elect to set education policies.

Title IX, which guarantees equal access to education for all, has been used by the Obama administration to help protect victims of sexual harassment and assault on college campuses.

North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows is among those recommending that the Trump administration roll back 2011 campus sexual-assault guidelines. Meadows and other supporters cite the number of false rape allegations, which equal between two and eight percent of total reports.

Clark points out that's the same percentage of false reporting seen in other crimes, such as arson and robbery.

"There's just no basis for it," she added. "I'm not exactly sure why anybody would want to move backwards and say that students don't have the right to a safe and equitable education, but that seems to be what he's suggesting."

According to the Rape Abuse and Incest Network (RAINN), 32 percent of rapes are reported, and only two percent of rapists actually serve time.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC