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Mandatory Reporters FAQs

MANDATORY REPORTER/ SB212 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


 

What is Senate Bill 212/ TEC 51.252?

  • Senate Bill 212 (SB 212)passed during the 2019 legislative session.
  • Texas State Law that requires all employees (both faculty and staff) at a public or private post-secondary institution to promptly report any knowledge of any incidents of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, or stalking "committed by or against a person who was a student enrolled at or an employee of the institution at the time of the incident". 
  • The SB 212 penalties took effect on January 1, 2020. This was codified under the Texas Education Code Sec. 51.252.

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What do I report?

  • The report to the Title IX or Deputy TIX Coordinator must include “all information concerning the incident known to the reporting person that is relevant to the investigation.”

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What does the law mean when it says that reports are to be made “promptly”?

  • The word “promptly” is not defined in SB 212, so standard rules of construction look to the dictionary definition of the word in question.  “
  • Prompt” is defined as “done, performed, delivered, etc., at once or without delay: a prompt reply; ready in action; quick to act as occasion demands; quick or alert: prompt to take offense”.

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I am a student, and a faculty or staff member reported to the Title IX Coordinator that I am the Complainant in a Title IX related incident. Am I obligated to participate in a Title IX investigation?

  • No. As a student, you always have the option to request a dismissal of the investigation or be a Reluctant Complainant in the investigation process, which means you do not have to participate in the investigation.
  • For matters where the Respondent is a student, the Title IX Coordinator will review the dismissal request and determine if the investigation meets the requirements to be dismissed.
  • If the investigation is not dismissed, the Complainant always has the right to be a Reluctant Complainant during the investigation process. Without the participation of the Complainant, the university may not have enough information to move forward the investigation or adjudication process. Factors that may result in not dismissing the investigation include, but are not limited to:
1.  The seriousness of the alleged conduct;
2.  Whether the university has received other reports of a Title IX incident committed by
     the alleged Respondent(s);
3.  Whether the alleged incident poses a health and safety risk to others.

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I am not sure if the information shared with me is considered to be stalking, sexual harassment, sexual assault or dating violence. What should I do?

  • When in doubt fill it out!
  • Do not try to determine if the incident meets one of those definitions.
  • Report any information that was shared with you with the Title IX or Deputy TIX Coordinator and they will determine whether the information qualifies.

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What if the person who shared information with me requests confidentiality?

  • You should inform this person that, at this stage of the process, you are required to report all known information to the Title IX or Deputy TIX Coordinator.
  • You can also inform them that they can consult with EOS and share their wishes on how they want to proceed with the process.

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Where do faculty and staff report sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, or stalking incidents committed by or against a student or employee under SB 212/ TEC 51.252?

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Does SB 212/ TEC 51.252 require a student to report incidents of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, or stalking committed by or against a student or employee"?

  • No. The law only requires employees to report the incidents.
  • Student enrolled at the institution are not required to report unless the student is employed by the institution such as Resident Assistants, Student Employees, and etc.

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I was a “mandatory reporter” before SB 212/TEC 51.252 became law. Have my reporting obligations changed?

  • No. If you were previously required to report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, and/or stalking because of your position at UTSA, your reporting obligations are the same.

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What are the penalties of non-compliance of SB 212/ TEC 51.252?

  • SB 212/ TEC 51.252 has strong penalties for not complying with the law.
  • Employees failing to report incidents of sexual assault can be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor and face termination.
  • Persons intentionally trying to cover up a failure to report are subject to a Class A misdemeanor charge.
  • Furthermore, UTSA could be faced with a disciplinary action as a failure to comply with the SB212/TEC 51.252 requirements and could fine up to a $2 million dollar penalty. 

There are two processes used to determine penalties: the criminal process and an administrative process. In both cases, the penalties under SB 212/TEC 51.252 applied started on January 1, 2020.

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I am a faculty member. Am I required to report something that gets disclosed in one of my classes?

  • Yes. SB 212/TEC 51.252 has only two exceptions for requiring reports of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking.  
  • If you are the victim of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking, you are not required to report or if the disclosure is made at a “public awareness event” sponsored by the University or a university-affiliated student organization. (i.e. Take Back the Night, National Night Out)

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Are there any protections for an employee who makes a report as required by this new law?

  • Yes. If you report something in good faith or assist in the investigation of a report, you are protected from retaliation under UTSA HOP policies.
  • A report made in good faith is when a reasonable person, given the known facts of the incident, would more likely than not conclude that prohibited conduct had occurred. 
  • A report made in bad faith has little regard for the actual facts of an incident and is made with bad intent toward another person.

UTSA prohibits any type of retaliation for filing a report in good faith.

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SB 212/TEC 51.252 requires that the Title IX Coordinator provides a written report that contains all of the reports submitted to the university. What information will be included in this report and how often can I expect to see this report?

  • SB 212/TEC 51.252 requires the university’s Title IX Coordinator to provide a quarterly report to the President/CEO of the University that contains all of the reports submitted to the university.
  • The reports will include data about the number of investigations reported and submitted to the university, and the disposition of any disciplinary processes that resulted from the investigation process.
  • The report will also include the data for which the university determined not to initiate a disciplinary process. 
  • Additionally, UTSA publishes an annual report that with data of the number of reports, the university received during the fiscal year and the number of investigations conducted as a result of those reports.
  • Included in the report is the disposition of any disciplinary processes that resulted from the investigation of those reports, and the number of reports for which the institution determined not to initiate a disciplinary process.

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