Home / National News / Harvard Law School Failed to Appropriately Respond to Student Sexual Assault Claims, Department of Education Says


(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Department of Education announced on Tuesday that Harvard University Law School were found in violation of Title IX for its handling of student sexual assault complaints.

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights found that the school “failed to comply with Title IX’s requirements for prompt and equitable response to complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault.” Harvard, the DOE said, “did not appropriately respond to two student complaints of sexual assault.”

In one instance, the Law School took more than one year to make a determination, and the student who leveled the allegation was not allowed to participate in the appeal process. That process ultimately reversed the initial decision to dismiss the accused student.

The DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon said Tuesday that Harvard had agreed to “immediately implement steps to provide a safe learning environment for its students.”

As part of the agreement between the DOE and Harvard University, the school will revise its sexual harassment policies, improve training for staff and provide information for students on policies and procedures applicable to complaints, increase the sharing of information between the university and the Harvard University Police Department, and conduct annual climate assessment to judge the effectiveness of the changes being made, among other action.

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