Why is Texas' New Title IX Mandatory Reporting Law So Problematic?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

A new Texas state law is about to go into effect that will alter how Title IX investigations begin. The law drastically expands the scope of who would be considered a mandatory reporter, requiring far more people to forward signs of sexual assault and misconduct to the Title IX office.

Covered employees could face a criminal charge and could also be fired if they do not comply with their new duties under the law.

New Texas Law Makes Nearly All College Employees Mandatory Reporters

Back on June 16, 2019, the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 212 and the governor signed it into law, scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020.

The new bill does several things:

  • It makes all college employees – except for student workers – mandatory reporters under Title IX law
  • Requires Title IX offices in Texas to submit a written report of all of the tips generated under the new law
  • Immunizes people who make sexual misconduct reports in good faith under the new law, including by prohibiting retaliation against them by the school
  • Makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly fail to make a report or to knowingly make a report with the intent of deceiving or harming someone
  • Requires colleges to fire an employee who violates the new law

The Tug of War Between Mandatory Reporting and Privacy

As we've covered elsewhere in our blog, mandatory reporting has several downsides to it that is often overlooked.

Among the most complicated and important is the invasion of privacy.

Students in college have only just reached adulthood, and one of the most rewarding changes that they experience between high school and college is the change in teaching dynamics. Whereas in high school their teachers are also figures of authority who can, to some degree or other, discipline them for misbehaving in the classroom, college professors treat their students as adults who can – and should – be able to make their own decisions.

The result is an atmosphere of congeniality that promotes the kinds of conversations that help college students grow as people and help them find their identity.

Making all college employees mandatory reporters undercuts this congeniality and trust in two very important ways:

  1. It can deter important and intimate conversations between students and college employees, including professors, by requiring professors to disclose them to a Title IX office that will use the information and take action based on what it learns, forcing professors to betray what a student might have hoped would be a confidential conversation
  2. It can add distance between students and faculty members, once students understand that any relationship that gets formed between the two will not be enough to keep the new mandatory reporting law from getting in the middle

Title IX Defense Lawyer Joseph D. Lento

The idea of deputizing more and more college personnel for Title IX purposes is not new. And while it can increase the number of sexual misconduct allegations that surface, it often does so against the wishes of alleged victims. It also comes at the expense of one of the most important relationships that college students can form.

Joseph D. Lento is a Title IX defense lawyer and national Title IX advisor. Call his law office at (888) 535-3686 or contact him online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!


If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.