Penn State University Fined For Failure To Disclose Campus CrimesBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
After five years of investigating a former assistant football coach's sex offenses, the Department of Education has announced that it will fine Pennsylvania State University for about $2.4 million. This is for the institution's failure to follow federal crime disclosure laws.
Inside Higher Ed reported that the fine will cover 11 findings that Penn State University violated the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA). It was noted that this is the biggest fine imposed under the law.
"For colleges and universities to be safe spaces for learning and self-development, institutions must ensure student safety -- a part of which is being transparent about incidents on their campuses," Ted Mitchell, the Department of Education's under secretary, said in a statement. "When we determine that an institution is not upholding this obligation, then there must be consequences."
In a report by the Department of Education, it was emphasized that the school's "football culture" or its status as a "football factory" is believed to be the major reason why a child predator was allowed to commit his crimes for a period of time. Criminal charges also await other former university officials for not doing anything to stop a predator and protect the children.
According to USA Today College, the sanctions are connected to former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's conviction. He was found to be guilty of sexually abusing 10 minors.
Penn State University is being fined for failing to issue an emergency notification after its senior officials learned about the charges against Sandusky. It is also the result of a five-year investigation on how the school handled complaints about the former assistant football coach before his indictment.
The institution has already provided over $93 million in settlements for Sandusky's 32 accusers. He is serving a 30- to 60- year prison sentence for sexual abuse of 10 minors.