Following a meeting with 8th District Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said a legal conflict would prevent her from meeting with victims of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Slotkin, a Holly Democrat, said she met Tuesday at the Department of Education with DeVos, urging her to meet with Nassar’s victims while her department considers to guidelines for how institutions investigate sexual assault allegations under Title IX of federal civil rights law. Critics of the proposed changes say they would make it harder for students to report sexual assault and more difficult for universities to investigate such claims. DeVos, in a letter to Slotkin, said that because her department is investigating Michigan State University in relation to "systemic issues" in the school's handling of Nassar’s crimes it would be inappropriate for her to, “speak to survivors as part of a separate, collateral process."

But Slotkin called it a “long, legalistic, response prepared by her attorneys” and said if DeVos could meet with her to talk about sexual assault on college campuses, “she should be able to meet with Nassar survivors” and as, “As a leader and a Michigander, she should want to hear from them” adding she was “deeply disappointed” that DeVos appears to be, “ignoring the very lessons we have learned from the Nassar tragedy.”

Meanwhile, Slotkin is among a group of Michigan lawmakers who are trying to pass bipartisan legislation that would require college officials to certify that they've reviewed sexual abuse investigations of campus employees. (JK)