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Policy Changes in the Wake of Penn State Sex Scandal

Schools and universities throughout the country have been reevaluating their policies for reporting sex abuse and misconduct in the wake of the Penn State and Syracuse sex scandals. One school administrator began a program years ago that other schools could replicate to ease the process of reporting inappropriate behavior.

Former Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow decided that she would require every university athlete to complete an anonymous survey at the end of each season. The goal of the survey, however, was to allow female athletes to report inappropriate conduct by male coaches and to allow male athletes to report harsh or abusive conduct by coaches. Yow never considered the magnitude of sex offenses that could occur as it allegedly occurred at Penn State.

The survey is one of many options available to help prevent long-term sex abuse or physical abuse. Other universities have also sent letters and emails to all staff and employees, reminding them of their duties to report sex offenses and other crimes on campus.

The University of Minnesota sent a letter out to all faculty and staff urging all in higher education to think critically about their role in reporting crimes. The U of MN president also said that he will not tolerate retaliation against anyone who comes forward with accusations in good faith.

Source: ESPN, "Staffs reminded about reporting crimes," Mark Schlabach, 12/1/2011

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