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Bill Would Require Transcripts to Note Violation of Sexual Assault Policies

December 9, 2016

Congresswoman Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, introduced a bill Thursday that would require academic transcripts to show that a student has violated campus policies involving sexual violence.

Speier said colleges and universities currently have no way of knowing if a student transferring to their campus has committed a sexual assault at a previous school.

"My bill will ensure that students who try to transfer schools to avoid the consequences of their violent acts will, at a minimum, face the same consequences as students who transfer because they’ve cheated on an exam," she said in a statement.

Speier's bill, called the Safe Transfer Act, would clarify FERPA laws to allow such disclosures and set the disclosure requirement to sunset five years after school disciplinary proceedings are completed or year after a pending disciplinary proceeding is initiated. The bill would also require that an alleged perpetrator be notified of the disclosure and be allowed to write a statement accompanying the disclosure.

The congresswoman has been outspoken on issues of sexual assault on campus. In September, she urged the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights to work with the Office of Federal Student Aid to provide loan assistance to victims of sexual assault. Speier has also proposed that colleges and universities be required to release investigations into alleged sexual harassment by faculty and staff members as well as students.

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Andrew Kreighbaum

Andrew Kreighbaum joins Inside Higher Ed as our federal policy reporter. Andrew comes to us from The Investigative Reporting Workshop. He received his master's in data journalism at the University of Missouri, and has interned at USA Today and a national journalism institute in Columbia, MO. Before getting his master's, Andrew spent three years covering government and education at local papers in El Paso, McAllen and Laredo, Texas. He graduated in 2010 from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in history and was news editor at The Daily Texan.

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