Proposed “ALERT Act” Ties Federal $ To Reports Of Sex Crimes
Several federal politicians from Michigan want to hold college and university leaders directly accountable for sexual abuse cases reported by students. The excuse of, “I didn’t know”, should not be acceptable they say.
The Michigan lawmakers involved in the effort include U.S. Senator Gary Peters, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, SW Michigan 6th District Congressman Fred Upton, along with SE MI U.S. Representatives Elizabeth Slotkin, and Lisa McClain.
The idea of college administrators being held accountable for sex abuse crimes on their campuses is not new. The current attempt is a reintroduction of the legislation. One element of the legislation is to require college and university leaders to certify they have reviewed any and all reports of sexual abuse cases on their campuses or off that were perpetrated by their employees against students. If they don't file the required verification of review, the school's Title IX funding can be stopped.
The legislation is referred to as the “Alert Act”, or The Accountability of Leaders in Education to Report Title IX Investigations (ALERT) Act. The leadership of any college or university accepting Title IX funding would be covered by the bill. Title IX is designed to protect people in education settings from sex discrimination.
Michigan Democratic U.S. Senator Gary Peters says it is a critically important issue that cannot be allowed to linger. “The excuse of ‘I didn’t know’ can never be used again by university leadership — they have a solemn responsibility to protect students,” says the Michigan Senator. “The ALERT Act would implement the measures necessary to hold college and university officials accountable. Survivors, their loved ones and our higher learning communities deserve better. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enact this critical legislation.”
In addition to requiring annual certification of case reviews, the bill would also force higher education leaders to swear they did not interfere with any case investigation.