New bill calls for strict rules for sexual contact between teachers and students in Colorado
Colorado lawmakers just introduced a bill that would put strict boundaries on cases involving sexual assault on a student by a teacher. Senator Dennis Hisey, who's backing the bill, says the idea for the bill came from a case in Colorado Springs.
According to the senator, a teenager attending a Colorado Springs high school came forward and reported sexual contact by a teacher. They reported it to Colorado Springs Police, but because the teen had turned 18 during her senior year, police couldn't do anything about it.
Under the current law, it's not considered a crime if a high school teacher has sexual contact with a student who is 18 or older.
Senator Hisey says this bill would make it so any student enrolled in high school, even if they're over 18, would have protection against sexual assault by a teacher.
"I really want to see teachers teaching students, not dating students," said Senator Hisey. "I want teachers to know there are consequences for crossing that line of trust with their students."
The senator says he wants teachers to be held accountable and understand they did something wrong.
Under this bill, even if a student gave consent, the sexual assault would still be considered a crime.
The bill also outlines that if there is sexual contact between a teacher and a student and a child is born from that, the teacher would lose all parental rights.
The bill will go to the committee next. They'll also have public hearings during that time so members of the public who have experienced this or want to speak out about this bill are able to do so.