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Kentucky Lawmakers Pass Historic Campus Due Process Bill

Kentucky Lawmakers Pass Historic Campus Due Process Bill

“provides crucial procedural protections to students accused of violations of a public college or university’s student code of conduct”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education supports the bill and is urging the governor to sign it.

From the FIRE blog:

Kentucky legislature passes historic campus due process bill; heads to governor’s desk for signature

Kentucky House Bill 290, having already passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, yesterday passed the Senate, once again with bipartisan support, and is on its way to Gov. Andy Beshear’s desk for his signature. FIRE urges the governor to sign this critical piece of legislation.

HB 290, called the Kentucky Campus Due Process Protection Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Kim Banta. The bill provides crucial procedural protections to students accused of violations of a public college or university’s student code of conduct that could result in a suspension or expulsion — protections that are sorely needed.

For example, FIRE’s analysis of policies at Kentucky’s colleges and universities found few institutional policies that guarantee a student’s right to active representation by an attorney or advisor of their choosing in university misconduct cases, even when a student faces suspension or expulsion. Nearly all institutional policies that provide active assistance of counsel apply only in Title IX cases because the 2020 Title IX regulations require institutions to provide this right in that context. As this shows, institutions can provide this crucial protection — to accused students and complainants alike — but most refuse to do so unless the law makes them.

In HB 290, this right attaches when a possible sanction is a suspension of longer than three days up to expulsion, and it allows a student’s attorney to make opening and closing statements, to present evidence, and to cross-examine complainants and witnesses.

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Comments

henrybowman | April 4, 2022 at 4:52 pm

The wonder of this is that it was even made necessary.

It’s amazing to me that a “public” (government) American institution thinks it can set up a parallel judicial system without respecting parallel constitutional rights.

Given that the GOP has supermajorities in the KY General Assembly, and can easily override, Andy Beshear will veto this bill only at his own personal risk.

Antifundamentalist | April 5, 2022 at 10:43 am

Does the bill offer any recourse for students who are expelled anyway despite the preponderance of evidence? All these rights mean nothing otherwise. The school will allow what is effectively a Dog & Pony Show only to do what they have been doing all along – judgement based on social trends rather than facts or evidence.