A provision of a student sexual misconduct policy at Armstrong State University in Savannah has come under fire this week for appearing to say physically disabled students could not consent to sex.
The overall policy follows that of many colleges, emphasizing that consent is required for any sexual activity. But a final provision regarding minors and people with disabilities garnered unwanted attention.
“In addition, persons under the age of 16 and persons who have a physical and/or mental impairment are unable to give consent,” read a sentence from the policy in place since September 2014.
The section was questioned in a tweet by Samantha Harris, director of policy research at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and reported by other media outlets, including The College Fix.
“Does @Armstrong_U really think the physically disabled can’t consent to sex?” Harris tweeted.
The university issued a statement Thursday saying that in formatting its policy prior to posting it online, language was inadvertently omitted from an important sentence regarding the issue of consent.
The sentence was revised in the policy and now reads:
“In addition, persons under the age of 16 and persons who have a physical or mental impairment and are unable to communicate are unable to give consent.”
“It was never our intention to imply that physically disabled individuals are unable to provide consent. We deeply regret this error,” reads the statement.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.