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Education Department to probe USC's handling of sexual harassment reports

By Danielle Haynes
Education Department to probe USC's handling of sexual harassment reports
The Department of Education, led by Secretary Betsy DeVos, said it would investigate how the University of Southern California handled reports of sexual harassment. File Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo

June 11 (UPI) -- The Department of Education announced Monday it opened an investigation into the University of Southern California's handling of sexual harassment allegations against a former gynecologist at the school.

The announcement from the department's Office for Civil Rights comes after the Los Angeles Police Department said it was probing 50 complaints of misconduct from former patients of Dr. George Tyndall.

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The LAPD said Tyndall's examinations at the student health center "appear to go beyond the norms" of gynecological procedures over the course of his 30-year career at USC.

"No student should ever endure sexual harassment or abuse while trying to pursue their education," Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said. "Every student on every campus should have a safe learning environment, and I expect all education institutions under the department's jurisdiction to take seriously their responsibilities under Title IX. Attempts to obfuscate or hide Title IX violations from the department will not be tolerated, and I am calling on USC to cooperate fully and completely with this investigation."

Tyndall, who denied the accusations, was allowed to resign in June 2017 with a financial payout and has said, "patients sometimes fabricate stories."

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In May, USC President C. L. Max Nikias agreed to step down after current and former students signed an online petition demanding his resignation.

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