DeVos: ‘I don’t know’ if number of false rape accusations is the same as number of sexual assaults

DeVos: ‘I don’t know’ if number of false rape accusations is the same as number of sexual assaults

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosMnuchin, Pompeo mulled plan to remove Trump after Jan. 6: book Republicans look to education as winning issue after Virginia successes McAuliffe rolls out new ad hitting back at Youngkin on education MORE said on Sunday that she is unsure if the number of false rape accusations is as high as the number of sexual assaults.

The comment came during a discussion of her department's changes to guidance on how colleges should handle reported sexual assaults on campus.

"Well, one sexual assault is one too many, and one falsely accused individual is one too many," DeVos said on CBS’s “60 Minutes."

Asked whether she was suggesting that the number of false accusations was as high as the number of actual rapes or assaults, DeVos said, “I don’t know.”

DeVos said that she is nonetheless “committed to a process that’s fair for everyone involved.”

DeVos has said she is revising the Obama-era Title IX guidance in order to better protect students who are accused, arguing that the previous guidelines mandated that colleges use the lowest standard of proof when deciding if someone had committed sexual assault.


She has faced immense criticism. DeVos was sued by a number of civil rights groups that argued her changes to the college guidelines were biased against sexual assault victims and violated federal law.

DeVos also acknowledged that she's experienced sexual harassment personally.

“I can recall a number of moments in the past — several decades ago that I think today would just be viewed as unacceptable. Yeah,” DeVos told CBS.

DeVos was recently criticized by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — where a shooter left 17 dead last month — after she visited the school and allegedly did not spend substantive time with the students.

She also said in the interview that arming teachers might be a good idea in certain parts of the country but that it should be up to the states and localities to decide. The idea of arming teachers has been floated by the Trump administration as one response to the school shooting in February.

“I give a lot of credit to the students there for really raising their voices, and I think that they are not going to let this moment go by,” DeVos said of the student survivors who have actively been campaigning for gun reform since the shooting.

The White House is set to announce new school safety proposals on Sunday.

"I have actually asked to head up a task force that will really look at what states are doing [on school safety issues]. See there are a lot of states that are addressing these issues in very cohesive and coherent ways," DeVos told CBS.