Secretary DeVos Requires Sweeping Changes at USC After Title IX Investigation Finds University Failed for Years to Protect Students from Sexual Abuse

DeVos Secretary requires radical changes in the USC after Title IX determines research university failed for years students to protect against sexual abuse 27 February, 2020 Contact: Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov

WASHINGTON - secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) require the University of Southern California (USC) to make radical changes in their procedures Title IX after finding that the school failed to protect students from Dr. George Tyndall, formerly employed as a gynecologist health of the middle school students, and dating back to 1989. as a result of systemic failures in the USC, the Department is requiring the school to review its processes of Title IX, to carry out a revi Formal sion of current and former employees to determine if they respond appropriately to notification of possible gender inequalities, and allow OC R to monitor compliance for three years.

"This total and complete failure to protect students is heartbreaking and inexcusable," said Secretary of DeVos. "Many in the USC closed their eyes to the evidence that Dr. Tyndall take advantage of students for years. We are very grateful to all the survivors who came forward to share their story with our researchers OCR. Because of its value, now we can work with the University to ensure that this never happens to another student on the campus of the USC ".

May 24, 2018, OCR opened an investigation directed to determine compliance with Title IX of the USC regarding the conduct of Dr. George Tyndall. OCR investigated whether the University was notified of the allegations of misconduct by Tyndall, if the university has not responded adequately, and if so, whether the fault allowed any student who is subject to continuous sexual discrimination.

OCR found that the University could not adequately respond to the notification of possible misconduct by Dr. Tyndall and that failure to respond appropriately University female students may be allowed to be subjected to continuous sexual discrimination. OCR also found that USC was unable to maintain a registration system to identify and monitor incidents of possible sex discrimination for their employees. Specifically:

  • USC took notice of a possible Misconduct Tyndall five patients from 2000 to 2009. There could investigate, assess whether interim measures is to adopt necessary to determine whether the five patients were subjected to discrimination sexual, or ensure that steps were taken to prevent recurrence of behavior and correct their effects for patients who complained and / or other patients. I also had warning of possible mistreatment of four patients by Dr. Tyndall, and could not respond appropriately.
  • Patients and staff complained that in the course of performing a pelvic exam, Dr. Tyndall made inappropriate, often comments commenting on the physical attributes of the bodies of patients.
  • in 2016, USC failed to investigate complaints that Tyndall conducted a pelvic exam without gloves. That same year, the University did not investigate the complaints raised by chaperones and Nurse Supervisor regarding digital penetration of the Tyndall patients during examinations and tests of the skin all over the body.
  • When in 2016 the University discovered more than 200 photographs of the genitalia of patients in consultation with Dr. Tyndall, who did not investigate whether taking pictures of patients and possession of the photographs are sexual discrimination. In addition, the University did not take reasonable steps to locate the remaining photographs Tyndall admitted taking 1989-2010 and allowed to continue seeing patients for a day and a half after the discovery of photographs.

    As a result of serious researchers detected faults, OCR and USC have entered into a settlement agreement (RA) requiring USC to take the following actions:

  • Make sure the Coordinator of the Title IX and Title IX Office have the independent authority to respond to reports of sexual discrimination and ensure that services provided by health services at the University are compatible with Title IX.
  • Make sure the tracks office Title IX and monitors each complaint or report potential sexual discrimination and provides OCR with documentation of reports and complaints of sexual harassment.
  • Make reasonable efforts to contact the nine patients who complained of misconduct by Dr. Tyndall and notify current and former students and current and former university employees who may have interacted with him, offer to remedy the harm caused by sexual discrimination. Such remedies may include academic accommodations and counseling, among others.
  • Change your procedures Title IX to ensure that all parties receive due process, require training for students, employees and employers in relation to sexual discrimination, and require specific skills training for employees of the clinic.
  • Conduct a review of current and former employees to determine whether any action was taken after notification of complaints or concerns regarding Dr. Tyndall received.

    "What we found at USC is shocking and condemnable," said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Kenneth L. Marcus. "No student should ever have to face the disgusting behavior that USC students had to face. I am pleased that President Folt is making major changes, and will closely monitor the University to ensure that it complies with our agreement. "

    Under the direction of the Secretary DeVos, OCR has moved aggressively to investigate schools that fail to protect students from sexual misconduct and to bring them into compliance with civil rights standards. The Department has required most notably a broad reform to protect students from the University of the State of Michigan and the Chicago Public Schools. Yesterday, the Secretary DeVos announced a new initiative OCR to prevent sexual violence in K-12 schools.

    The Letter Looking in the case of the USC is available here. The Settlement Agreement is available here

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