Virginia Tech Seeks To Block Fine In Shooting Case

12/03/2011 11:09 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2012

WASHINGTON — Virginia Tech University says it acted appropriately in alerting the campus during the mass shooting in 2007 that left 33 people dead.

The government disagrees and has fined the school $55,000. The Education Department says Virginia Tech was too slow in notifying students, faculty and staff about the situation, and therefore was in violation of a federal law requiring timely warnings when there are safety threats.

The university gets a chance Wednesday to begin making its case before an administrative judge, in hopes of erasing a fine that isn't hefty but can leave a black mark on an institution's record.

During the Obama administration, there's been a ramping up in enforcement under the law, which has gotten recent attention because of scandals at Penn State and Syracuse universities.