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The Fallout from the Record Clery Act Violation Against MSU Has Gotten Disturbing

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 09, 2019 | 0 Comments

The fallout continues at Michigan State University after the school received a record $4.5 million fine for violating the Clery Act. Not only has the provost resigned; there was a bomb threat that targeted the main administration building on campus.

Record Clery Act Fine Against Michigan State University

We covered the record fine against Michigan State University in our last blog post. The fine followed an investigation by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, which found that school officials at the highest level failed to protect students from the sexual misconduct of Larry Nassar.

While this egregious oversight included Title IX violations, the fine centered on the Clery Act, which requires colleges to report crimes that happen on campus. By turning a blind eye and not reporting Nassar's misconduct under the Clery Act's regulations, MSU failed to give potential students an idea of how safe MSU's campus could be.

College Provost Resigns

The fallout from the fine was swift and significant.

The very day the report and the fine were issued, Michigan State's provost, June Youatt resigned from her position. She was one of the people in the officials at the “highest levels” that turned a blind eye to Nassar's conduct and the cover-up that let it continue far after complaints had begun to trickle in.

According to Youatt, she had received word of Nassar's conduct as early as 2014 but assumed that other people would look into it and tell her of any negative findings.

The person she was relying on to investigate Nassar, however, was William Strampel, the former dean of the school's College of Osteopathic Medicine. Strampel is currently serving a jail sentence for misconduct in a public office – a position he used to harass young women.

Bomb Threat Against College Administrative Building

The day after the fine was issued and provost Youatt resigned, the Michigan State University Police Department received a bomb threat against the Hannah Administration Building.

The threat came in at 10:45 in the morning of Friday, September 6 – mere hours after the Board of Trustees met in the building.

The building was evacuated, but no suspicious packages were found. Faculty and students were kept out of the building and were warned of the ongoing situation through the campus alert system.

Joseph D. Lento: Title IX Defense and Guidance

The resignation and bomb threat are both signs of how powerful the #MeToo movement has become – and how dangerous these reactions can be. While the movement was created and designed to hold men accountable for using their positions of power to commit sexual assault and harassment, the people who are now facing repercussions are supervisors and collateral parties whose only misconduct was not paying close enough attention to what was going on.

The fact that the fine seems to have triggered a bomb threat to the school is truly disturbing, as it puts hundreds of innocent people at risk.

Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX defense lawyer and national Title IX advisor. Call his law office at (888) 535-3686 or contact him online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

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