Within our judicial system, there is a beautiful phrase known as “innocent until proven guilty.” The simple, yet great, premise of this is that your accuser must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the alleged crime. Unfortunately, a California representative is not a strong believer in this principle and has proposed a bill that would require college students charged, but not yet convicted, with rape allegations to have said charges appear on their official college transcript.

According to The Daily Wire:

“Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) proposed a bill on Thursday that essentially flips “innocent until proven guilty” on its head. Speier’s bill, the “Safe Transfer Act,” requires student’s rape charges to appear on their college transcript for five years after their disciplinary hearings have concluded. The bill also specifies that if a student were to transfer to a different school while the case is still pending, the unresolved case would remain on their transcript for one year.”

In other words, your name is going to be tarnished if you are accused, even if the accusation has no basis in fact and is proven to be untrue. Ultimately, this is a dangerous piece of legislation that trounces all over Constitutional protections.

All in all, why should unproven rape charges be anywhere near a student’s transcript? As the article reports, Representative Speier believes rape warrants the same treatment as plagiarism or cheating, but she fails to show the correlation as to why. Plagiarism and cheating are infractions highly relevant to the services being provided by  an academic institution. However, rape does not reflect the educational abilities or academic ethics of the student. Sure, the presence of the student on campus makes the school more dangerous, though it also may not since we are talking about unproven charges and not convictions, but wouldn’t this also need to apply to drug related offenses, prostitution related offenses, assault, and battery convictions? Each of these would also increase the level of danger on a campus. Why is one type of crime being singled out while other types of dangerous and violent crimes are be excluded? None of these crimes, including rape, should be condoned, but they are not equivalent to academic related infractions. It’s time to stop with the agenda based laws and move into policies that logically make sense. I understand that is a lot to ask, though.  

{Via The Daily Wire}

Title Image “Campanile, UC Berkeley”  by Joe Hall is licensed under CC BY 2.0