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AB-1467 Student safety: sexual assault procedures and protocols: sexual assault counselors.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 03/25/21 - Amended Assembly Compare Versions information image


AB1467:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1467


Introduced by Assembly Member Cervantes

February 19, 2021


An act to amend Section 67385 of, and to add Section 89033 to, the Education Code, relating to student safety.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1467, as amended, Cervantes. Student safety: incident response. sexual assault procedures and protocols: sexual assault counselors.

Existing

(1) Existing federal law, known as Title IX, prohibits a person, on the basis of sex, from being excluded from participation in, being denied the benefits of, or being subject to discrimination, which includes sexual harassment, under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. A portion of the Donahoe Higher Education Act, known as the Equity in Higher Education Act, declares, among other things, that it is the policy of the State of California that all persons, regardless of their sex, should enjoy freedom from discrimination of any kind in the educational institutions of the state. Existing law provides that a party to a written complaint of prohibited discrimination at certain public postsecondary educational institutions may appeal the action to specified bodies. Existing law also requires that persons who have filed a complaint of prohibited discrimination be advised by the educational institution that civil law remedies may also be available to the complainant.

Existing law requires, no later than January 1, 2022, except as specified, a postsecondary institution that receives state financial assistance to comply with requirements relating to the protection of students from, and providing students with procedural protections relating to complaints of, sexual harassment, including, among others, requiring the governing board or body of each of these institutions to adopt and publish on its internet website grievance procedures providing for the prompt and equitable resolution of sexual harassment complaints.

This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact future legislation that would enact reforms to postsecondary educational institutions’ policies, procedures, and campus-based investigations following an incident of harassment, rape, sexual assault, or violence.

Existing law requires the governing board of a community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Board of Directors of the Hastings College of the Law, and the Regents of the University of California to adopt and implement a written procedure or protocols relating to sexual assault, as provided. This requirement applies to the University of California only if the regents, by appropriate resolution, make it applicable. Existing law requires these public postsecondary governing bodies, including the regents if they make it applicable by appropriate resolution, to annually review, and update as necessary, in collaboration with sexual assault counselors and student, faculty, and staff representatives, the written procedure or protocols related to sexual assault.
This bill would additionally require procedures ensuring that each victim of sexual assault who requests assistance from a sexual assault counselor or through specified entities or processes is provided with alternative housing assignments and academic assistance alternatives. The bill would require sexual assault counselors to be independent of the campus Title IX office and to be appointed based on experience and a demonstrated ability to effectively provide sexual violence victim services and response. The bill would require sexual assault counselors to maintain confidentiality in their interactions with victims of sexual assault, as prescribed. The bill would also authorize sexual assault counselors to assist victims of sexual assault in obtaining accommodations such as academic support, adjustments to course schedules, changes to university-based housing arrangements and work schedules, or stay-away orders issued to a respondent.
To the extent that this provision would create new duties for community college districts, it would constitute a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law establishes the California State University, under the administration of the Trustees of the California State University, as a segment of public postsecondary education comprising 23 institutions located throughout the state. Existing law establishes the Chancellor of the California State University as the chief executive officer of the segment.
This bill would authorize the trustees and the chancellor, when reviewing and updating any executive orders relating to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation for purposes of enforcing or implementing the requirements described in paragraph (1) above, to do so in collaboration with specified officers and employees of the university. The bill would require an executive order issued by the chancellor related to the enforcement or implementation of those requirements to first be reviewed and approved by the trustees, with the concurrence of the presidents of each affected campus of the university. The bill would require the texts of these executive orders to be submitted in an annual report to the chairs of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education and the Senate Committee on Education.
(3) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 67385 of the Education Code is amended to read:

67385.
 (a) The governing board of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Board of Directors of the Hastings College of the Law, and the Regents of the University of California shall each adopt, and implement at each of their respective campuses or other facilities, a written procedure or protocols to ensure, to the fullest extent possible, that students, faculty, and staff who are victims of sexual assault committed at or upon the grounds of, or upon off-campus grounds or facilities maintained by the institution, or upon grounds or facilities maintained by affiliated student organizations, shall receive treatment and information. If appropriate on-campus treatment facilities are unavailable, the written procedure or protocols may provide for referrals to local community treatment centers.
(b) The written procedure or protocols adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall contain at least the following information:
(1) The college policy regarding sexual assault on campus.
(2) Personnel on campus who should be notified, and procedures for notification, with the consent of the victim.
(3) Legal reporting requirements, and procedures for fulfilling them.
(4) Services available to victims, and personnel responsible for providing these services, such as the person assigned to transport the victim to the hospital, to refer the victim to a counseling center, and to notify the police, with the victim’s concurrence.
(5) A description of campus resources available to victims, as well as appropriate off-campus services.
(6) Procedures for ongoing case management, including procedures for keeping the victim informed of the status of any student disciplinary proceedings in connection with the sexual assault, and the results of any disciplinary action or appeal, and helping the victim deal with academic difficulties that may arise because of the victimization and its impact.
(7) Procedures for guaranteeing confidentiality and appropriately handling requests for information from the press, concerned students, and parents.
(8) Procedures ensuring that each victim of sexual assault should receive information about the existence of at least the following options: criminal prosecutions, civil prosecutions, the disciplinary process through the college, the availability of mediation, alternative housing assignments, and academic assistance alternatives.
(9) Procedures ensuring that each victim of sexual assault who requests assistance from a sexual assault counselor, or through the reporting, counseling, administrative, medical and health, academic accommodation, or legal processes of the university, the university police, or local law enforcement, shall be provided with alternative housing assignments and academic assistance alternatives.
(c) The written procedure or protocols adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be reviewed annually, and updated as necessary in collaboration with sexual assault counselors and student, faculty, and staff representatives.
(d) Each segment of higher education shall implement this chapter from existing funds and resources available to it.
(e) The sexual assault counselor shall be independent from the Title IX office, and shall be appointed based on experience and a demonstrated ability to effectively provide sexual violence victim services and response.
(f) (1) To maintain confidentiality, preserve any applicable privileges, and protect the privacy of students requesting assistance, the sexual assault counselor shall not be required to report the identity of a student who requests assistance in order to receive the accommodations referenced in paragraph (9) of subdivision (b) and other accommodations, which may include, but are not limited to, academic support, adjustments to course schedules, changes to university-based housing arrangements and work schedules, or stay-away orders issued to a respondent.
(2) Regardless of whether victims wish their identity to remain confidential, a sexual assault counselor shall not notify the university or any other authority, including law enforcement, of the identity of the victim or any witness or of the alleged circumstances surrounding the reported sexual misconduct unless otherwise required by applicable state or federal laws.

(e)

(g) For purposes of this section, “sexual assault” includes, but is not limited to, rape, forced sodomy, forced oral copulation, rape by a foreign object, sexual battery, or threat of sexual assault.

SEC. 2.

 Section 89033 is added to the Education Code, to read:

89033.
 (a) The trustees and the chancellor, when reviewing and updating any executive orders relating to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation for the purpose of enforcing or implementing the requirements of Section 67385, may do so in collaboration, as they deem appropriate, with any of the following:
(1) The Vice President of Administration and Finance.
(2) The Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs and other executive vice chancellors and vice chancellors.
(3) The General Counsel and administrators with responsibilities relating to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
(4) The Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and other human resources officers.
(5) Title IX coordinators.
(6) Presidents and provosts of the various campuses of the university.
(7) Sexual assault counselors, confidential sexual assault victims advocates, and domestic violence counselors.
(8) Representatives of the student bodies at each campus of the university.
(b) (1) The chancellor shall only issue an executive order related to the enforcement or implementation of Section 67385 after it is reviewed and adopted by the trustees, with the concurrence of the president of each affected campus of the university.
(2) The chancellor shall submit the text of all executive orders issued pursuant to paragraph (1) in an annual report to the respective chairs of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education and the Senate Committee on Education.

SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact future legislation that would enact reforms to postsecondary educational institutions’ policies, procedures, and campus-based investigations following an incident of harassment, rape, sexual assault, or violence.