Texas Legislature Passes Sexual Assault Legislation (Fact Sheet)

​​​​​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 Dallas College community and the possible consequences of noncompliance.

Senate Bill 212 (SB 212)

SB 212 requires all employees who witness or receive information about an incident of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking (collectively “sexual misconduct”) involving a current student or employee to promptly report the incident to the location Title IX coordinator or college Title IX coordinator. Reports to the Title IX coordinator must include all relevant information about the incident.

Reports of sexual misconduct can be made in person to the Title IX coordinator and/or online at Report Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct.

How SB 212 Impacts College Employees

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 college 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)

House Bill 1735 (HB 1735)

HB 1735 expands requirements for institutional sexual assault policies to include sexual harassment, dating violence and stalking. The college sexual misconduct policy has always included such forms of sexual misconduct, but HB 1735 now requires all higher education institutions (public, private or independent) to do so and authorizes a civil penalty for noncompliance.

Other Notable Requirements of HB 1735

  • Higher education “peace officers” must receive Trauma Informed Investigation Training.
  • Requires the continuation of the disciplinary process even if student withdraws or graduates
  • Upon request, another postsecondary institution may receive disciplinary determination relating to sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.
  • Includes an administrative penalty of up to $2 million against an institution for noncompliance

(effective Aug. 1, 2020)