The bill would require every institution of higher education designate at least one employee to ensure compliance with Title VI.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Congressman Pete Aguilar held a press conference Tuesday at California State University San Bernardino to reintroduce his legislation, the Protecting Our Students Civil Rights Act. The bill would require every college, university and trade school designate at least one employee to ensure compliance with Title VI which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.
"I think now more than ever, we need to make sure that our learning environments are free from discrimination," said Aguilar. "That's what this bill does. It empowers and makes universities responsible. To have a single individual coordinate that activity, to make sure they are following through on Title IV of the Civil Rights Act."
A hate crime investigation at UCLA is in progress. Campus police said a suspect shot a student in the face with a bb gun and yelled a homophobic slur Sunday morning. UCLA students tell us they feel supported but are thankful for this bill.
"Especially now since the whole Palestine and Israel thing, I feel like every student should feel safe," said Anadaisy Cervantes, a UCLA student. "Especially in a place where we're supposed to get our education."
According to data collected by the California Department of Justice, historically hate crimes reported at colleges make up just between 1% and 6% in the state. But as with hate crimes statewide, those reported on college and universities have increased to well above levels reported in 2016, the next highest-level year.
"I think it's really cool that they're pushing this bill and I'm really happy to hear that because I do feel that sometimes when you come from a marginalized background you don't always get that advocacy from a public policy point of view," said Sara Yogi, another UCLA student.