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Teachers’ unions, ACLU oppose school sexual assault bill

April 10, 2019 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s two teachers’ unions and the state affiliate of the ACLU are objecting to a proposed bill that would criminalize sex between any school employee and students under 18.

The bill is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Alex Marszalkowski of Cumberland, and says any school employee would be guilty of sexual assault if they have sex with a student between the ages of 14 and 18. The proposed law would apply to bus drivers, vendors and volunteers with supervisory authority.

The Providence Journal reports that opponents argue the bill targets school employees and volunteers but ignores other jobs in which adults supervise young people.

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Marszalkowski says the bill isn’t meant to single out teachers and that he welcomes the criticism.

The age of consent in Rhode Island is 16.