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TURNER COLLEGE CAMPUS SAFETY MEASURE PASSES HOUSE

TURNER COLLEGE CAMPUS SAFETY MEASURE PASSES HOUSE

By Representative Chris Turner

 

 

 

Representative Chris Turner

04/18/2019 – Bill will help ensure institutions know if an incoming student has committed a serious code of conduct violation at a previous school

AUSTIN — Yesterday, the Texas House of Representatives passed HB 449, state Representative Chris Turner’s (101) measure that would require all Texas colleges and universities to notate a student’s transcript if he/she is ineligible for re-enrollment as a result of a serious code of conduct violation. The bill, aimed at providing an additional tool for campus safety, passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support. 

“This bill will help ensure that students found responsible for sexual assault, battery, arson, terroristic threats or other violent or destructive behaviors aren’t able to enroll at a new school while concealing a previous expulsion for a serious offense,” said Turner. “This is a common-sense measure that will help keep students safe.” 

“In the three years that I have worked on this issue, I have heard far too many stories about students who have committed sexual assault and other serious infractions being able to transfer to a new school without the admissions office being aware of their expulsion,” said Turner. “Universities deserve to have all of the information available so they can make informed decisions about who attends their universities and how best to keep their campuses safe.” 

One notable example of why this measure is needed came to light last December, when it was discovered that Jacob Anderson, who had been expelled from Baylor University because of sexual assault, had subsequently transferred to the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), which was completely unaware of his prior expulsion. After news broke that the student was attending UTD, the school’s executive vice president said that a lack of information concerning Anderson’s disciplinary record was the primary reason why his application slipped through the cracks. Had HB 449 been law at the time, UTD officials would have been made aware of Anderson’s expulsion during the application review process. 

The measure is joint-authored by Representative Victoria Neave (107) and Representative Sarah Davis (134).

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