Texas Represenative files bill to prevent Baylor-like sex assault scandals
A state lawmaker hopes to prevent a future Baylor sex assault scandal with the filing of what he calls the "Baylor Bill." He says the campus can't be the only one covering up the crime.
"There's a saying that says an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and I don't think that Baylor used an ounce of prevention,” said State Representative Terry Canales.
Just as a new lawsuit surfaced suggesting the total number of victims of sexual assault at the hands of Baylor football players is 52, not the 17 reports as previously acknowledged by Baylor officials-- State Representative Terry Canales has filed a bill to prevent another Baylor situation.
"We've seen cultures of college violence in Texas and throughout the U.S. where things of this nature go unreported and what we're trying to do is foster a culture where not only is it reported, but we've got a protocol,” said Canales.
House bill 1096, also referred to as the "Baylor Bill" would require each university in Texas to establish a protocol when it comes to sexual assault, family violence and stalking on campus.
"How do you deal with the student, how do you deal with the offender,” said Canales.
Federal law currently requires faculty to report assault to the campus Title IX coordinator. However, advocates say waiting on the feds to step in is a slow process. This bill would create a state-level enforcement process that may be quicker.
Time is important because while the justice system may take years-- the victim must still attend class and deserves to feel safe.
Under Canales's bill, students and faculty will be made aware of the protocol through orientation and various outreach programs.
Failure to adhere to the protocol would result in a loss of state funding.
"Unfortunately universities are more concerned with their image than protecting kids. What we're trying to do is reverse that. We want to put the safety first and when we begin to have a culture of reporting we have a culture of fixing what is going on,” said Canales.