Michigan Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) met Tuesday with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to discuss DeVos's proposed changes to Title IX. Those changes would shift how universities and colleges are required to handle reports of sexual assault.
Slotkin says she has urged DeVos to meet with survivors who were abused by former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar before moving ahead with those proposed changes. Secretary DeVos declined to do so, citing the department's investigations involving Nassar survivors.
“All I'm asking her to do with the Nassar survivors is have a conversation. If you don't want to talk about specifics, let them just talk about their experience," Slotkin said. "Hear from people who have lived it, what it was like, and how to make it better."
U.S. Department of Education Press Secretary Liz Hill disputes Slotkin's characterization of the meeting between her and DeVos.
“Rep. Sloktin needs to stop using Nassar’s heinous crimes as banter for a press release. By all accounts from those in the room, this hyperbolic press release does not reflect the actual tone or tenor of yesterday’s meeting," Hill wrote in an email response.
Hill says that the department currently has two open investigations involving Nassar survivors, "and it would be inappropriate for the Secretary to meet with anyone during the open investigation stage."
You can read Secretary DeVos's full response to Rep. Slotkin's request that she meet with Nassar survivors here.