Sens. introduce bill to hold schools accountable for sex abuse
Three senators, Gary Peters, D-MI, Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, and John Cornyn, R-TX, have announced they will be introducing legislation that will hold public universities accountable for sexual abuse cases that threaten the safety of their students.
According to a press release, the senators are introducing the Accountability of Leaders in Education to Report Title IX Investigations, or ALERT, Act, in the wake of scandals involving Larry Nassar at MSU and Jerry Sandusky at Penn State University.
“Too many young people have suffered appalling harm from abusers who should have been stopped by university officials," Peters said in the press release. "I’m introducing this legislation to ensure that ‘I didn’t know’ will never again be an excuse for permitting monstrous abuse to continue under the watch of the officials we trust to look after our children.”
Stabenow is also calling for increased accountability.
“This bill is just one step we can take to make sure all universities take sexual abuse more seriously and that their leadership is held publicly accountable,” Stabenow said.
The press release also indicated leaders in the Nassar and Sandusky cases failed to take action or express they were unaware of the sexual abuse being conducted by university employees, despite ongoing Title IX investigations.
The newly-introduced ALERT Act would require school presidents and at least one other board member review sexual abuse investigations reported that year and confirm they did not influence or interfere with investigations.