Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights Also Investigating Michigan State

By D.J. Byrnes on February 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm

The University of Michigan is being investigated for their lethargic response to Brendan Gibbon's 2009 sexual assault, but it also appears Michigan State has a sexual assault problem of their own.

From The State News

The U.S. Department of Education revealed Monday it is investigating complaints about MSU’s handling of sexual assault accusations, a fact that university officials successfully kept quiet until now.


But on Monday, Department of Education spokesman Jim Bradshaw told The State News the planned visit to campus is directly related to an official investigation into sexual harassment and violence complaints pending against the university.

Although details of the complaints are a mystery for now — neither the Department of Education nor MSUwould provide insight into the nature or reach of the allegations — university officials were quick to defend their overall handling of sexual assault accusations. It’s not yet clear whether the investigation could prove to be a liability for [MSU President Lou Anna K.] Simon, who just last week publicly addressed “destructive” behavior among students, including sexual violence.

In the words of my esteemed colleague Kyle Rowland: Unfreakingbelievable.

This, like the investigation going on in Ann Arbor, could have major ramifications under Title IX, which covers gender discrimination/sexual assault and harassment.

The saddest part about these two cases (other than the sexual assaults themselves, of course) is these two stories were broken open by the student papers of their universities. Without them, we'd all think Brendan Gibbons missed the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl due to "family issues," and we wouldn't know about the MSU case at all.

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