HB 116: Protection of Student Civil Liberties
This bill passed the House with a vote of 61-12 and passed the Senate with a vote of 20-5.
College students whose rights have been violated by their university may not have a legitimate route of remediation through their own institution’s leadership. Many students have found that when they have issues with unconstitutional school policies, the administration refuses to make changes until legally forced to do so. For a student, legal action can be impossible to pursue due to the high cost.
Representative Kim Coleman is tackling this issue with a proactive approach through House Bill 116. Under this bill, public higher education institutions will have to evaluate their policies to ensure that none of them violate students’ civil liberties. Any policies in violation must be amended. If students have concerns about school policies, they will be able to submit their complaints directly to the State Board of Regents through a newly established process. The Board will then address the complaint accordingly. All the complaints filed will be reported annually to the Administrative Rules Review Committee.
Protecting the civil liberties of individuals is a critical function of government. This bill specifically targets a demographic of people who have historically had their rights encroached upon by invasive school policies. It aims to protect students from future unconstitutional policies while also providing an accessible route for complaints to be made and addressed.