Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she found attacks against her record in protecting student civil rights "hurtful."
It's “hurtful to me when I’m criticized for not upholding the rights of students, the civil rights of students,” DeVos said in a wide-ranging conversation with reporters Wednesday, per Politico. "I have to turn it back around and say why do I keep getting criticized for that? I mean nothing that I’ve done would suggest otherwise.”
DeVos has been condemned by Democratic lawmakers and advocacy groups for reforms made under her leadership to the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, including her move to return the office "to its role as a neutral, impartial, investigative agency."
DeVos has also been denounced for changes to Obama-era initiatives surrounding sexual assaults reported on college campuses, such as issuing a question-and-answer document in lieu of more detailed guidance on how to conduct investigations.
"I hope that nobody who has been involved in any kind of a sexual assault would feel in any way impeded from coming forward and telling their story. There's nothing about the guidance that would suggest or encourage that," she added.
DeVos has been one of the most controversial members of Trump's Cabinet.
To mark the first anniversary of her confirmation, the American Federation of Teachers, the AFL-CIO, the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, the Badass Teachers Association, Color of Change, Daily Kos, the Journey for Justice Alliance, and the National Education Association on Thursday sent more than 80,000 mock reports cards grading her performance.