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Peters Statement on Federal Investigation into Michigan State University

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today released the following statement in response to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights concluding that Michigan State University violated Title IX during its handling of the Larry Nassar and William Strampel cases:

“The toxic environment that allowed Larry Nassar and William Strampel to get away with their abuses needs to be eliminated. University leadership must be held accountable so that what happened at MSU can never happen again – anywhere.

“The bipartisan ALERT Act that I introduced will specifically require university leadership to review reports of sexual abuse by university employees. I’ll continue working to pass this bill, because ‘I didn’t know’ can never be an excuse again.”

In January 2018, Peters called on MSU to commission an independent, outside investigation into the handling of the Larry Nassar abuse scandal. Earlier this year, Peters led reintroduction of the bipartisan ALERT Act with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). The ALERT Act would require federally funded colleges and universities to submit an annual certification to the Secretary of Education affirming that the school’s President, or equivalent officer, and at least one other member of the Board of Trustees have reviewed all sexual abuse investigations involving an employee reported to the Title IX coordinator that year. The annual certification would also require confirmation that neither the President, or equivalent officer, or board member had interfered with or inappropriately influenced an ongoing investigation.

Companion legislation was introduced in House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Fred Upton (MI-06) and Paul Mitchell (MI-10).