WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Arne Duncan said allegations of sexual abuse involving Penn State University are heartbreaking and make him "extraordinarily angry."
If the allegations are proven true, it's "mind boggling" that it was allowed to go on for so long, Duncan told The Associated Press in an interview on Monday. He said educators have an "absolute moral, ethical and legal responsibility" to protect kids.
"If a blind eye was turned towards it, or if the allegations were somewhat buried or not taken seriously, well, you're actually perpetuating the problem," Duncan said. "You're giving the abuser more opportunities to hurt more kids. I just can't fathom that."
Duncan said the Education Department has been working on efforts to prevent sexual violence on college campuses, but it's too early to know if it would be involved at Penn State in any way.
Two high-ranking university administrators have stepped down after facing charges that they lied to a grand jury investigating former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and failed to properly report suspected child abuse. Sandusky was arrested on charges that he preyed on boys he met through a charity. All three have maintained they are innocent.
Kimberly Hefling can be followed at http://twitter.com/khefling
- 2 cops in New York City ambushed, fatally...
- The Associated Press' top 10 movies of the year
- Police boss: NYC cops 'quite simply,...
- NYPD: Cop ambush killer told passers-by to watch
- Christmas 1914: The day even WWI showed humanity
- What people never mention when they talk...
- 9 films advance in Oscars shortlist for best...
- 'Hobbit' goes out on top with $90.6 million...
- Obama: US re-establishing diplomatic... 49
- Vermont governor abandons single-payer... 32
- A post-election flurry: Obama tests his... 16
- Police boss: NYC cops 'quite simply,... 16
- Forget Santa Claus, Virginia. Was there... 16
- Sony cancels 'The Interview' Dec. 25... 15
- NYC premiere of Rogen film 'The... 8
- Utah mourners for Pakistani children... 8