Texas Colleges Pass New Sexual Assault Laws
Big headlines were made about the Baylor sexual harassment scandal, in which Baylor experienced over 125 sexual assault allegations against players from 2011 to 2015. An investigative law firm found that Baylor had “institutional failures at every level” regarding the implementation of Title IX, the federal law requiring proactive sexual assault prevention. Texas legislators and college administrators have been drafting new policies for dealing with sexual assault prevention and reporting on campuses statewide.
What Are the New Reporting Bills?
- SB 968: This requires that colleges provide electronic reporting of all allegations of sexual assault, interpersonal violence, or stalking allegations. The reporting websites need to be accessible from university webpages, and students can report the incidents anonymously. These measures will make tracking down perpetrators easier, and make the reporter safe from retaliation from their peers.
- SB 969: College students and university employees will now be removed from discipline if a student or employee is a witness or victim of sexual assault. This occurs only if the student or employee reports the incident and a violation of the institution’s policies was included in the incident. Coverage does not extend to a student or employee reporting their own act of sexual assault.