What you need to know about the new law requiring students to review their history
- by admin
The Texas legislature passed a controversial law last month that requires students to read a history textbook on sexual assault.
The law is aimed at preventing campus sexual assault from escalating, but critics say it could stifle debate on the issue.
(The Associated Press)In the new version of the law, a student who does not understand the history of a topic or the context of the topic could be charged with a felony for failing to “refrain from” taking a course on a topic, according to a draft obtained by The Associated Press.
The Texas Tribune has more on the bill.
The bill has the backing of some conservative lawmakers, who argue that the law is too broad and could stymie debate on sexual misconduct.
The American Civil Liberties Union and others have said the bill is too vague and that students should be required to read history textbooks before taking courses on campus sexual assaults.
The law, known as the Texas Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights, would allow prosecutors to charge students with felony offenses if they “knowingly” fail to read the textbook, even if they were not aware of the content.
Under the bill, a school district would be able to sue if a student fails to take a course that covers the crime.
The legislation also would allow students to be expelled for failing a course, but only if the school district believes it is in violation of the bill’s language.
The legislation would not affect school boards that are responsible for discipline.
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors.
In a statement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the new bill is not aimed at stopping sexual assault, but is intended to “provide students with the information they need to understand sexual assault history and prevent the perpetuation of such crimes.”
The Texas Republican said the law will not affect the district’s ability to discipline students who have been convicted of a felony or to suspend or expel them.
He said the changes “will be reviewed and made final once the bill becomes law.”
He said the legislature was working on a new bill that would also include sexual assault victims in its review of a student’s past.
A new version would also require students to take “a course on the history, impact and prevention of sexual violence.”
The bill also requires students who want to take courses on sexual violence to fill out a form and submit it to a student conduct office.
It requires the form to be signed by the student.
The Texas legislature passed a controversial law last month that requires students to read a history textbook on sexual assault.The…