The U.S. Department of Education has scheduled a December 7-9 hearing on Virginia Tech’s appeal of $55,000 in fines for failing to notify campus sooner in a 2007 shooting rampage in which a student killed 32 students and faculty, the Associated Press reports. Virginia Tech officials have denied wrongdoing, saying the department is holding them to higher standards than were in place the day of the shootings.
“The relatively small monetary penalty is not the reason for this appeal,” Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli said. “The university has already expended millions as a result of the tragedy. The main purpose of the appeal is to compel the federal Department of Education to treat Virginia Tech fairly and to apply a very poorly defined and subjectively applied federal law consistently and correctly.” The agency found the university violated a federal campus safety law by waiting more than two hours after two students were shot to death before sending out a campus wide warning. By that time, student gunman Seung-Hui Cho was chaining shut the doors to a classroom building where he killed 30 more and then himself.