The House Law and Justice Committee approved legislation on Tuesday that better protects underage students and victims of sexual-based crimes.
The legislation was introduced by Representative Lana Theis, State Rep. from Brighton.
The three-bill package was prompted by a recent Livingston County case where a 16-year-old was convicted of criminal sexual conduct against multiple victims as young as 12. Two of the underage victims joined Theis for testimony before the committee on Feb. 20.
“These bills are needed to ensure we better protect victims of criminal sexual conduct. No survivor should ever have to move schools to avoid riding the bus or attending school with their assailant,” said Theis, a member of the committee. “We had two young victims before this committee to tell us how they faced the possibility of being in the same school, classroom and even bus route with their manipulative predator. That should not even be a consideration.”
Theis' bills require schools to permanently expel students who are convicted of criminal sexual conduct against another student enrolled in the same school district.
An amendment approved by the committee on Tuesday expands the protections to include transportation to and from school, such as on school buses, and allow anyone who have been expelled to attend a cyber-school.
Currently schools are only required to expel a student if the crime was on school property.