Lots of legislators skipping ‘mandatory’ sexual harassment video

Many state legislators have failed to watch a 22-minute sexual harassment training video that’s said to be mandatory under recently-adopted rules, reports The Tennessean.

Records indicate as of Tuesday, 12 of 25 Democrats, or less than 50 percent, and 26 of 73 Republicans, or 35 percent, in the House have failed to watch the 22-minute video and submitted a certificate of completion.

The deadline for House lawmakers to complete the training was Jan. 31. Eleven lawmakers watched the video after the deadline passed, as of Tuesday.

Mark Lovell, who resigned Tuesday amid allegations that he was being investigated for inappropriately touching a woman last week, was among those who failed to watch the video.

House Majority Leader Glen Casada, R-Franklin, said Thursday he had not realized how many lawmakers had yet to watch the video.

“We’ll put out an email today saying members, this is an ask of the speaker’s office,” he said, adding that information about who had not taken the training should be made public.

… In the Senate, which has a Friday deadline, just eight Senators — seven Republicans and one Democrat —  of the chamber’s 33 lawmakers have watched the video.

Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, said on Wednesday Republican leadership gave explicit instructions to their caucus members to watch the video.

When asked if there would be any penalties for any Senators who fail to view the video by Friday, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, said, “Well I think we’ll make sure that they watch it.”

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Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.
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