Protesters demonstrate at Harvard Law ahead of DeVos speech

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WHDH/AP) — Protesters gathered outside Harvard Law School ahead of a visit from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who is speaking at the university Thursday evening.

Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance is sponsoring the conference, titled “The Future of School Choice: Helping Students Succeed.” DeVos is the keynote speaker.

Protesters said they oppose DeVos’ decision to change federal guidelines for college administrators handling sexual assault reports.

“The majority of sexual assault victims don’t report the crimes,” said Rockland teacher Graciela Mohamedi. “So when we make it harder for them to feel safe, then they’re gonna not want to come forward.”

DeVos believes Title IX policies have been unfair to people accused of sexual assault and to alleged victims. DeVos said in some cases, suspects have been unable to get details of complaints under rules implemented by President Barack Obama. In others, she said students had to fight to stay in school for relatively minor infractions.

Protesters said they also oppose DeVos expanding voucher programs so students can opt out of public schools in favor of privately-run charter schools.

“It’s really the billionaires being in control of our kids’ futures. None of this is OK,” said Mohamedi.

Boston city councilor and candidate for mayor Tito Jackson addressed the crowd, saying DeVos could “go right back to D.C. where she came from.”

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