(WFXR) — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine pushed for the Department of Education (DOE) to conduct a Title IX investigation into Liberty University back in November, but now, he says the latest allegations of misconduct at the school show a pattern that is “very, very troubling.”

“And so this most recent claim underscores the need for a DOE investigation,” the Virginia senator said on Thursday, April 28.

After a 24th student claimed a Title IX violation by Liberty University, WFXR News wondered what a DOE investigation would look like.

According to John Fishwick Jr. — owner of Fishwick & Associates in Roanoke and a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia — since the inception of Title IX in 1972, the law has prohibited discrimination based on sex or gender in any school that receives public funding.

Universities and colleges across the U.S. have been found guilty of violating Title IX, and there have been repercussions.

“Under Title IX, the federal government has the power, under certain circumstances, to withdraw federal funding from that university,” said Fishwick.

However, no school has ever lost that federal funding.

Fishwick points out it would be hard to find a school that doesn’t use federal funding, so losing that kind of money would be severe punishment.

“But it is a hammer that the federal government has,” the Roanoke attorney said.

Typically schools end up paying significant damages for violating Title IX, and while no school has payed the ultimate consequence of a violation, Fishwick said it is “a powerful law.”

“It’s a critical law at the foundation of our public education,” he said.