7 Cheryl K. Acton
8 Kyle R. Andersen
9 Stewart E. Barlow
10 Kay J. Christofferson
11 Brad M. Daw
A. Cory Maloy
Calvin R. Musselman
Merrill F. Nelson
Douglas V. Sagers
Travis M. Seegmiller
Norman K. Thurston
Raymond P. Ward
13 LONG TITLE
14 General Description:
15 This bill enacts provisions related to discriminatory harassment and expression at an
16 institution of higher education.
17 Highlighted Provisions:
18 This bill:
19 ▸ defines terms;
20 ▸ enacts provisions related to discriminatory harassment at an institution of higher
21 education, including provisions that:
22 • prohibit an institution from punishing certain acts of speech that do not
23 constitute discriminatory harassment;
24 • create a cause of action for the attorney general related to discriminatory
25 harassment at an institution of higher education; and
26 • provide for an administrative review for a claimed violation;
27 ▸ enacts provisions related to the free expression policies of an institution of higher
29 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
31 Other Special Clauses:
33 Utah Code Sections Affected:
35 53B-27-401, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36 53B-27-402, Utah Code Annotated 1953
37 53B-27-403, Utah Code Annotated 1953
38 53B-27-404, Utah Code Annotated 1953
39 53B-27-501, Utah Code Annotated 1953
41 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
42 Section 1. Section 53B-27-401 is enacted to read:
44 53B-27-401. Definitions.
45 As used in this part:
46 (1) "Discriminatory harassment" means student-on-student speech that:
47 (a) is unwelcome;
48 (b) discriminates on the basis of a classification protected under federal or state law;
50 (c) is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so undermines and
51 distracts from a student's educational experience, that the student is effectively denied access to
52 an institution's resource or opportunity.
53 (2) "Student" means an individual enrolled at an institution.
54 (3) (a) "Student-on-student speech" means verbal, written, or other communication that
56 (i) communicated by a student; and
57 (ii) directed at another student.
58 (b) "Student-on-student speech" does not include an act of physical contact between a
59 student and another student.
60 Section 2. Section 53B-27-402 is enacted to read:
61 53B-27-402. Institution duties.
62 (1) An institution is in violation of this part if the institution:
63 (a) gains actual knowledge of discriminatory harassment in the institution's program or
64 activity; and
65 (b) acts with deliberate indifference to the discriminatory harassment.
66 (2) (a) An institution may not punish, as discriminatory harassment, student-on-student
67 speech that does not constitute discriminatory harassment.
68 (b) An institution is not liable under this part for failing to punish a student who
69 communicates student-on-student speech that is not discriminatory harassment.
70 (3) Nothing in this part prevents an institution from punishing student-on-student
71 speech that is otherwise not protected under the First Amendment to the United States
73 (4) Nothing in this part prevents an institution from responding to student-on-student
74 speech that is not discriminatory harassment by taking nonpunitive actions designed to promote
75 a welcoming, inclusive environment.
76 (5) Nothing in this part prevents an institution from maintaining policies prohibiting
77 stalking or other criminal activity.
78 Section 3. Section 53B-27-403 is enacted to read:
79 53B-27-403. Cause of action.
80 The attorney general may bring an action to enjoin a violation of this part, in a state
81 court of competent jurisdiction, against an institution or an institution's agent acting in the
82 agent's official capacity.
83 Section 4. Section 53B-27-404 is enacted to read:
84 53B-27-404. Statute of limitations.
85 (1) Except as provided in Subsection (3)(b), the attorney general may not bring an
86 action under this part later than one year after the day on which the cause of action accrues.
87 (2) For an action alleging a violation of Subsection 53B-27-402(2)(a), the cause of
88 action accrues on the day on which the student receives final notice, from the institution, of
89 punishment that violates Subsection 53B-27-402(2)(a).
90 (3) (a) For an action alleging a violation of Subsection 53B-27-402(1), the cause of
91 action accrues on the day on which the institution gains knowledge of the discriminatory
93 (b) For an action described in Subsection (3)(a), the limitation described in Subsection
94 (1) extends to one year after the day on which the most recent known act of discriminatory
95 harassment, involving the same parties as a prior known act of discriminatory harassment,
97 Section 5. Section 53B-27-501 is enacted to read:
98 53B-27-501. Free expression policies.
99 (1) As used in this section, "free expression policy" means an institution's policy,
100 regulation, or other expectation related to student expression.
101 (2) An institution shall:
102 (a) publish the institution's free expression policies:
103 (i) in the institution's student handbook; and
104 (ii) on the institution's website;
105 (b) include information about the institution's free expression policies in an orientation
106 program for students enrolled in the institution; and
107 (c) develop a program, procedures, and materials to ensure that an individual who has
108 responsibility for the discipline or education of a student at the institution understands the
109 institution's free expression policies.
110 (3) An individual described in Subsection (2)(c) includes an institution:
111 (a) administrator;
112 (b) campus police officer;
113 (c) residence life official; and
114 (d) faculty member.
115 (4) An institution shall ensure that a free expression policy is consistent with the
116 provisions of this chapter.