On March 3, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill 95–1 that amends the requirements for Safe School Committees. If the bill passes the Senate and is signed by Governor Fallin, Safe School Committees will be explicitly empowered to have programs combating rape and sexual assault. The amended portion reads as follows:
“The Safe School Committee may study and make recommendations to the principal regarding the development of a rape or sexual assault response program that may be implemented at the school site that would inform students and school staff on the appropriate emotional response and victim support needs and treatment following a rape or sexual assault incident that occurs at school or involves a student.”
The House version of the bill was sponsored by Rep. Claudia Griffith (D-Norman). She cites the alleged rape of three young women by a student named Tristen Killman-Hardin as a need for this bill. All were Norman students. It’s alleged that the three young women were bullied out of school. Killman-Hardin has been suspended and arrested.
Rep. Griffith also cited the recent arrest of three Westmoore High School students for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 15 year old girl on Jan. 26. Since all three are over 18 and the age of consent is 16, they could be charged with second degree rape.
The statutory rape involving the Westmoore High School students did not take place on campus but at a house. However, the victim has allegedly experienced bullying on social media. Rep. Griffith, a former nurse, explains that she knows “how hard it is to treat a victim of rape and … the training needed to help those victims emotionally as a first responder.”