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Evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr. to head Trump education task force

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Brian Snyder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) Evangelical Christian leader Jerry Falwell Jr. will head an education reform task force under U.S. President Donald Trump and is keen to cut university regulations, including rules on dealing with campus sexual assault, the school he heads said.

Falwell, the son of the late televangelist Jerry Falwell Sr., was described by Trump as “one of the most respected religious leaders in our nation” last year after Falwell endorsed him during the Republican party primary race.

Falwell is president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, which bills itself as the world’s biggest Christian university. A school spokesman, Len Stevens, said on Wednesday (Feb. 1) it was not clear yet when the task force would start its work.

Stevens said Falwell was interested in eliminating numerous regulations the U.S. Department of Education has placed on colleges and universities, adding that many college presidents felt the same, regardless of their political orientation.

“It’s an autonomy issue for universities to be able to not be micromanaged by the Department of Education,” Stevens said in an email.

Falwell also wants to cut federal rules on investigating and reporting sexual assault under Title IX, the federal law that bars sexual discrimination in education, according to Stevens.

The Liberty University head believes on-campus sexual assault investigations are best left to police and prosecutors, Stevens said.

Falwell told the Associated Press he turned down an offer from Trump to become education secretary, in part because Falwell did not want to move his family to Washington.

When Falwell introduced Trump before a speech he gave at Liberty University early last year, Falwell said he saw similarities between Trump and his father, the founder of the Moral Majority organization, including a penchant to “speak his mind.”

The Senate Education Committee sent Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos, a charter school advocate, to be education secretary to the full Senate on Tuesday for a confirmation vote.

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Ian Simpson

21 Comments

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  • From where I’m sitting it looks awfully as though Trump is seeking to attain immortality by venting a remorseless, conscience-free, psychopathic rage against the USA.

  • What a cop out for schools to say they have no responsibility in sexual assault. It appears it is very rampant in our universities, both private and parochial. The dean of women is the best person to investigate and more important to console and counsel the victim….and mostly this happens to women. Prosecutors are most likely to tear the victim apart and the police probably have these cases as a low priority. It does incredible damage to the victim and their families. The schools cannot prevent these acts as alcohol is most often a part of this and that seems to be rampant too. So the schools may not be able to prevent all of this but they should certainly be in the game.

  • So Pussygrabber in Chief wants to make it easier for sexual assault to be committed on college campuses. Why am I not surprised here?

  • Trump’s nomination of DeBos coupled with bringing Falwell Jr aboard clearly demonstrates his desire to destroy public education in the USA. Progressives must unite and oppose these moves.

  • this marks the end of democracy in the United States, and the beginning of fascism. Good luck America. The only thing you can do is starting a revolution.

  • Why is sexual assault on campus treated differently from sexual assault anywhere else? A woman subjected to rape or other serious sexual assault should not be inhibited about going to the police to flie a complaint.
    W.

  • Lets see if I get this. Liberty U hired Ian McCaw as atheletic director after Ian McCaw was fired by Baylor for failing to bring information to relevant officials of sexual assualts by Baylor athletes.

    Is McCaw still there?

    Regardless, no wonder Falwell wants to get rid of regulations that have to do with protecting women from assault by male athletes. If he doesn’t like the current regulations it will be important to see if he comes up with other regulations that accomplish some protection for women and doesn’t just gut the whole thing. The regs are there for a reason: it is not okay to turn a blind eye to sexual misbehavior of athletes, no matter how good they are, no matter how many championships in how many sports are won in the name of the institution.

  • Because a college campus is a largely closed community lacking permanent residents. Most aren’t necessarily relying on police for security. Schools also have a nasty habit of interfering with investigations by law enforcement.

  • It would be interesting to see if these evangelical universities report fewer sexual assaults, due to the strict moral guidelines of campus, or whether these crimes run rampant. If nothing else, the data might be relevant to understanding the politics of Falwell’s ascent. Right?

  • Well said. I try to convey that message but end up ranting forever. Thank you for putting into words exactly what I think. He HATES the USA. Using his own words… “Something is going on!” He’s behaving as if he owns the world now. The almighty powerful idiot.

  • It seems that’s an either-or proposition not easily measured. The politics of Falwell’s ascent was coined by Andrew Jackson, the one President with whom Trump is often compared, and it is called “The Spoils system,” based upon Jackson’s maxim “To the victor belong the spoils,” meaning looting at the public trough. Falwell, like his father is a grifter easily allied with corrupt politicians to enrich each other mutually.

  • “Falwell also wants to cut federal rules on investigating and reporting sexual assault under Title IX, the federal law that bars sexual discrimination in education, according to Stevens.”

    I wish I were shocked at that, but I’m not. In Falwell’s world, women are subservient to males and exist to suit male needs as the male chooses.

    To put it simply, Falwell is lowlife scum.

  • What’s rampant is FALSE accusations. Sure there are actual assaults – but far more bogus claims.
    When an actual assault does occur – the administration should NOT get involved in any investigation – leave it to the professionals – NOT those with an agenda to cover up the crime.

  • Bullshit. Crime statistics make your claim appear completely ridiculous. Where are you getting this idea and that false accusations are on the rise?

  • Most lemmings and practically all media don’t bother to follow up on the accusations.
    Any drama llama can make a claim and get headlines. Follow up on the accusation and you’ll find, as in my kids’ school, higher than 80% off claims were false.

    But that doesn’t fit in with the “women are victims” mentality so the media doesn’t follow it through.
    They should be outed and criminally charged.

  • Do you have a source to back up such assertion or are you just pulling this from your posterior orifice?

    In most cases the media isn’t even involved unless the assault activity is going unreported for a while or the administration deliberately covers it up repeatedly. Your assertion does not appear credible on it’s face.

  • A source?
    Sure – 8 reported rapes at Bridgewater State U…ONE actual assault, in the last three semesters.
    Instead of charging the little drama queens, the school coddles them and sends them to meet with a therapist.

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