Speed Reads

This just in

55 colleges, universities facing government probe for their handling of sexual assaults

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Department of Education released today a list of 55 colleges and universities that are facing Title IX investigations for their handling of sexual abuse claims. Some of the most prestigious colleges in the country are on the list, including Harvard, Princeton, and Dartmouth. The release of the document is being seen as an "unprecedented step" by the White House in its continued efforts to combat sex crimes on college campuses.

As the The Washington Post notes, the list doesn't detail what the Education Department is investigating at each school. Nor does inclusion on the list mean that Title IX — a law that prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funding — has been violated. It just means that an investigation is ongoing. While perhaps best known for allowing female students equal access to sports, Title IX has long been used as a way to regulate how schools handle sexual violence on campuses. Up until now, the names of all the schools being investigated have never been released.

Catherine E. Lhamon, an assistant secretary for the department's Office for Civil Rights, said the administration hopes "this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue." The Washington Post has the full list here.