Texas Considers Bill to Require Sexual Assault Policies at State Colleges

The Texas House of Representatives tentatively approved a bill this week that would require public universities in the state to establish a sex assault policy that includes prohibited behavior, punishments for violating the policy, and a procedure for reporting and responding to reports of campus sexual assault.

The sexual assault policy would need to be published on the school's website and presented to students during their orientation. Institutions would also have to revisit the policy every two years.

The call for more detailed policies comes amid increased national scrutiny over the prevalence of rape on college campuses and federal efforts to combat sexual violence, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Federal law requires colleges to have a policy for responding to sexual violence, but such policies are often folded into wider codes of student misconduct or workplace harassment, said Chris Kaiser, staff attorney for Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.

"That can make it really difficult for a student looking for help to find," he said.

The proposed legislation does not establish an avenue to determine whether schools are in compliance with the law or create a penalty for noncompliance.


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The Dallas Morning News