Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has signed a new bill into law that requires school districts in the state to develop rape and sexual assault prevention curriculum. The Safe Schools Act was promoted by the feminist knitting circle turned activist group who publicized the way Norman High School dealt with a series of alleged rapes by 18-year-old rapist Tristen Killman-Hardin.
Yes All Daughters, the activist group, was concerned about the way in which other Norman students mercilessly bullied, intimidated and even physically assaulted the three girls who said Killman-Hardin had raped them. They began looking for a state representative to sponsor the bill, and eventually found two, both women: State Reps. Lee Denney and AJ Griffin. Governor Fallin signed the bill into law yesterday (a surprisingly sane move from a politician who is usually dedicated to being wrong about everything).
The new law will require each district’s Safe Schools Committee to “develop a rape or sexual assault response program for students and school staff.” Among other things, teachers will be offered programs on how to identify child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse, and how to properly report it. Students will learn about, in the words of the bill, “How to identify dangerous situations, personal boundary violations, how to refuse approaches and invitations, how to summon help, and what to do if abuse occurs.” You can read the enrolled (final) version of the bill here.
Killman-Hardin pleaded no contest in May to the charge that he raped an unconscious 16-year-old girl. With time served and part of his original ten-year sentence suspended, he’ll serve no more than 15 months in prison. Yes All Daughters is now petitioning for national sexual assault prevention education.
Students protest outside Norman High on November 24. Image via Twitter user Stovetopps