According to the U.S. Department of Education, 55 colleges and universities throughout the country are being investigated to determine if they illegally handled reports of harassment and sexual violence. Although this type of investigation is not a first, it is the first time the department has decided to release a list of the schools being investigated. There are 55 institutions on the list, but Florida State University is the only one in the Sunshine State.
The U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for civil rights said, “We are making this list available in an effort to bring more transparency to our enforcement work and to foster better public awareness of civil rights. We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue. I also want to make it clear that a college or university’s appearance on this list and being the subject of a Title IX investigation in no way indicates at this stage that the college or university is violating or has violated the law.”
Many of the schools on the list have already taken the initiative in fighting against such activity, such as the University of California, Berkeley, which has sent out a campus letter.
It is difficult for some to understand that sexual harassment in schools has become a big problem; however, the study by the U.S. Department of Education shows that it is an issue that is not always being dealt with in the appropriate manner. From students to faculty to staff, nobody should be subjected to harassment or any type of sexual violence. There are is recourse available for many victims of such harassment. A civil suit may be pursued for compensation. While it won’t take away the memory of what happened, it could make it easier to move forward.
Source: CNN, “55 colleges under investigation over handling of sexual violence complaints” Jason Hanna, May. 02, 2014