RICHARDSON (CBS11) – Taking a stand against sexual harassment and misconduct, a North Texas state legislator is leading the charge to make the Texas State Capitol a safer place.
State Representative Linda Koop, who represents District 102 in Richardson, sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott calling on him to review and create new protocols to protect capitol staffers.
“It could be anybody’s daughter or son that works here at the capitol,” said Koop. “In Washington D.C. it’s happening. In the entertainment industry it’s happening, elections in Alabama it’s happening. I think it’s on the forefront of people’s minds right now.”
Some feel the Texas State Capitol is no different.
Anonymous allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct recently surfaced ranging from inappropriate comments to outright assault.
Rep. Koop feels the biggest issue is that many of the most vulnerable staffers are not paid and are not covered by the state’s human resources protections.
“It makes me feel like it is our responsibility to do that and protect these young folks,” said Koop.
In a letter to Governor Abbott, she pointed out that legislative personnel, “…are not fully educated as to where to report misconduct or harassment.”
Koop also asked for new protocol to be developed.
“Our interns and our capitol staffers are very young and we want to make sure everyone is in a safe work environment,” said Koop.
Governor Abbott quickly responded Tuesday night on Twitter and wrote, “Any form of sexual harassment at the capitol is unacceptable and I will work on remedies to end it.”
Koop suspects a proper roll out of their findings and plans to be revealed in early 2018.