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Bill would mandate La. colleges fire employees who fail to report sexual misconduct

2 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, April 01 2021 Apr 1, 2021 April 01, 2021 6:44 PM April 01, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Following LSU's Title IX scandal, a legislative proposal seeks to increase transparency and tighten sexual violence accountability in colleges statewide.

The bill, filed by Rep. Aimee Freeman, says colleges must fire employees who fail to comply with reporting requirements for sexual misconduct involving students.

The bill would implement new terminology for sexual violence. Dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment and stalking would all fall under the umbrella term "power-based violence."

Employees would be required to report any occurrence of power-based violence to the campus Title IX coordinator. The coordinator would then have to report to the chancellor and the system president would report to the management board.

Under this bill, victims would have the right to access a copy of any report related to them.

Additionally, protocols for power-based violence would be updated every year by both the local criminal justice agency and the college, as opposed to the two-year updates currently in place. Colleges would have to update information related to power-based violence on a yearly basis, including information for victim hotlines.

Colleges would have to provide an online reporting system where people could report crime and track crime incidents on campus, something that is currently allowed, but not required.

Training to address sexual violence would be given to all members of public college management boards, with an extended deadline for college sexual violence handling training programs for colleges overall.

Surveys on campus sexual assault would be given every year, instead of every three years, and the results would be featured prominently on college websites. Colleges would additionally have to make every effort possible to increase student survey participation.

The Board of Regents would have to consult with advocacy groups and student leaders in developing the surveys.

Survey results would be submitted to the governor, along with House and Senate education committees 45 days before the start of the legislative session.

Lawmakers are expected to discuss the proposal in the next legislative session, which begins April 12.

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