Liberty University to Pay Record $14 Million Fine for Safety Violations

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Liberty University, a prominent Christian school, has agreed to pay a substantial $14 million fine for failing to disclose information about crimes on its campus and mishandling cases of sexual assault survivors, as announced by the U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday.

This fine, the largest ever under the Clery Act, a law requiring federally funded colleges to report campus crime data, signals significant lapses in the university’s handling of safety matters. Despite marketing itself as having one of the safest campuses, Liberty’s police department operated with minimal oversight, leading to misclassification and underreporting of crimes.

The investigation revealed instances where sexual assault cases were dismissed as unfounded, contributing to a culture of silence where victims felt dissuaded from reporting due to fears of reprisal. The university has acknowledged past problems and claimed to have made over $10 million in improvements since 2022 to comply with the Clery Act.

While the $14 million fine is a fraction of Liberty’s total revenues, it highlights broader concerns about campus safety and the importance of institutions prioritizing the well-being of their students.

Liberty University to Pay Record $14 Million Fine for Safety Violations

The investigation into Liberty’s compliance with the Clery Act became public knowledge in 2022 amid legal challenges related to the mishandling of sexual assault cases. This development comes three years after the university’s contentious split with former president Jerry Falwell Jr.

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Liberty University’s commitment to addressing these issues and implementing lasting changes will be crucial in rebuilding trust within the community.

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