Virginia Tech will have to pay the maximum $55,000 fine for violating federal law by waiting too long to notify students during the 2007 shooting rampage, the U.S. Department of Education announced March 29.
Department officials said in a letter to the school that the sanction should have been greater for the school’s slow response to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
The $55,000 fine was the most the department could levy for Tech’s two violations of the federal Clery Act, which requires timely reporting of crimes on campus.
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“While Virginia Tech’s violations warrant a fine far in excess of what is currently permissible under the statute, the Department’s fine authority is limited,” wrote Mary Gust, director of a department panel that dictated what punishment the school would receive for the violation.
The university could have lost some of its $98 million in federal student aid. The department has never stripped a school of federal funding for such a violation.