Peters said in the press release that colleges and universities must do more to protect the safety of students, and they should be held accountable when they fail.
“Too many young people have suffered appalling harm from abusers who should have been stopped by university officials,” he said. “I’m introducing this legislation to ensure that ‘I didn’t know’ will never again be an excuse for permitting monstrous abuse to continue under the watch of the officials we trust to look after our children.”
The ALERT Act would require federally-funded colleges and universities to submit annual certification to the U.S. Secretary of Education affirming the school’s leadership has reviewed all incidents involving employee sexual misconduct that were reported to the Title IX coordinator at that institution in the previous 12 months, the press release said.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on gender in education programs or activities that receive federal assistance, the U.S. Department of Education says on their Office for Civil Rights website.
UNC’s Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office lists on their website their policy on prohibited discrimination, harassment and related misconduct, including who it applies to, where it applies and the prohibited conduct.
Jeni Cook, a spokesperson for the University, said in an email UNC would not be able to speculate about how proposed legislation could affect the University and that University leadership recently underscored its commitment to fostering a safe campus environment.
A joint statement on Jan. 23 by UNC Chancellor Carol Folt, executive vice chancellor and provost Robert Blouin and vice chancellor for workforce strategy, equity and engagement Felicia Washington said they did not want the campus to be just a part of the conversation but doing everything to engage and create positive change.
“We are taking a fresh and critical look at policies and procedures across the University to make sure we are doing everything we can to create an inclusive and respectful culture at Carolina."