Lawmakers want to hold universities accountable for sexual abuse cases

WASHINGTON (GrayDC) Lawmakers are urging Congress to pass a bill to hold universities that receive federal funding accountable for sexual abuse cases.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) said the ALERT Act is a way to take the lessons learned from the Larry Nassar scandal and put it into action. (Source: Gray DC)

The ALERT Act, or the Accountability of Leaders in Education to Report Title IX Investigations Act, would require university leaders they reviewed any reports about sex abuse cases. The bill has bipartisan support.

'I've had a lot of time with survivor advocates. And one thing that they always consistently say is it's very important that this not become a political issue and I could not agree with that more," said Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI).

Slotkin was planning to introduce the bill in the House on Tuesday. Sen. Peters, Sen. Cornyn and Sen. Stabenow introduced the legislation in the Senate.

“With this legislation, we are joining their fight as their partners. It will help ensure that universities take sexual abuse seriously and that their leadership is held accountable. Many of the survivors have mentioned how incredibly alone they felt back at that time," said Sen. Stabenow.

The legislation would require the universities to send in a certification to the Secretary of Education, saying one university leader reviewed sexual abuse investigations dealing with an employee.

Lawmakers say this is response to the Larry Nassar scandal at Michigan State University.

“This is a way of learning the lessons from the Larry Nassar scandal and putting it into action not just for Michigan, for the country," said Slotkin.

Slotkin said the universities are supportive of the legislation, "a clear and transparent process" for the sexual abuse investigations.

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