AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Senate Bill 212 went into effect January 1, but really started up this week as colleges and universities across Texas return to class.
It requires employees to report any allegations of sexual assault, sexual violence, dating violence or stalking.
“It only requires employees or faculty, if they obtain knowledge of one of those four circumstances, to report that to the title nine office. A student does not have to report it, unless the student is a student employee who is considered what you call a responsible employee. For instance, a residence hall director,” said Robert Byrd, assistant chief of police at WTAMU
It has been a requirement for employees of colleges and universities in Texas to report these accusations, but now the stakes are much higher if they don’t.
“For Senate Bill 212, the big thing now is if you have knowledge and you don’t report, then there can be penalties and you can also lose your job,” said Byrd.
Penalties are more than just losing your job, you can be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor for not reporting these allegations. If you try to conceal information, you can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor.
“For a Class B Misdemeanor, it’s a fine not to exceed $2,000 and then confinement in jail for 180 days or less, or you can get both. Then a Class A Misdemeanor is a fine not to exceed $4,000 confinement in jail up to a year, and or both,” said Sgt. Carla Burr with the Amarillo Police Department.
Fortunately, Amarillo College has not received any reports of this nature in at least the last seven years. West Texas A&M University has seen a few, and school officials say they typically happen in the dorms.