U.S. Department of Education to Investigate Penn State's Handling of Sexual Misconduct Allegations
The U.S. Department of Education will launch an investigation into whether Penn State University failed to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act) in regard to allegations of sex offenses on campus by a former school official. Former Penn State Defensive Coach Jerry Sandusky has been charged with sexually abusing several young boys over several years, including incidents on campus.
Under the Clery Act, colleges and universities are required to disclose the number of criminal offenses on campus that are reported each year. In addition, in certain cases, the institution must issue a timely warning if a reported crime represents a threat to the campus community. The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for Clery Act compliance.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, "If these allegations of sexual abuse are true then this is a horrible tragedy for those young boys. If it turns out that some people at the school knew of the abuse and did nothing or covered it up, that makes it even worse. Schools and school officials have a legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from violence and abuse."
The investigation of Clery Act violations will be conducted by the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA). ED officials formally notified Penn State of the investigation in a letter today. As the FSA investigation proceeds, the Office for Civil Rights will also assess whether further investigations or enforcement actions are warranted.