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In May 2019, the 86th Texas Legislature expanded upon the state’s existing sexual assault legislation with the adoption of Senate Bill 212 and House Bill 1735. The laws primarily address reporting requirements for incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking at certain public and private institutions of higher education.
The following legislative update provides information on how this new legislation will impact the DCCCD community and the possible consequences of noncompliance.
Effective Jan. 1, 2020, all employees who witness or receive information about an incident of sexual misconduct must report the incident to a Title IX coordinator. Student employees are encouraged, but are not required, to report under SB 212.
An employee who does not report an incident of sexual misconduct or who makes a false report can be charged with a criminal offense (Class B or Class A misdemeanor). If an employee fails to make a required report or makes a false report, the law requires that the employee be terminated.
Employees who are designated by the district as “confidential employees” remain subject to the reporting obligations of SB 212 but are only required to report the type of incident, excluding any information that would invade a student’s expectation of privacy. Confidential employees may include, but are not limited to, medical or mental health professionals.
(effective Jan. 1, 2020)