On May 31, administration provided a statement outlining school policy and procedure surrounding allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment. This statement was not able to be included in the previous article due to the publication deadline. The formerly published articles from the past few weeks have described student concerns about school protocol. This statement provides details not formerly known by many students. Their statement included the following information:
School administration defines sexual harassment as “including, but not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” They identify sexual assault as “ANY unwanted sexual act or behavior which is threatening, violent, forced or coercive and to which a person has not given consent or was not able to give consent.”
If a staff member is made aware that any such behavior has taken place they are obligated to report it. This is because all school staff members are mandatory reporters. This means they are required to report any knowledge of criminal or otherwise dangerous activity to the school principal. “The mandatory reporting of abuse or neglect of children is a 24-hour obligation.”
“The counselor and/or administrator [who has received the report] will let the student know that reporting is the right thing to do, and will ask about their safety.”
Once a student has come to administration, “The counselor and/or administrator team will also ask if the student has shared this information with their parent or guardian.” In the case of a reported assault or harassment, parents/guardians of the student will always be contacted unless, “there were concerns that reporting information to the parent might lead to further safety concerns. This decision would be made in conjunction with law enforcement. These decisions are not made in isolation.”
After the adult handling the situation has or has not contacted the parents or guardians of the student, the counselor/staff member will also ask them how much information they are comfortable sharing or if they have a preferred staff member they would like to speak to. “The counselor and/or administrator team will also ask if the student has shared this information with their parent or guardian.”
“The counselor and/or administrator will ask if the event happened on school grounds and if it has been reported to law enforcement. If the incident occurred on school grounds, a school investigation will begin. If not, it turns into a law enforcement matter.” Administration keeps in contact with law enforcement and “will continue to monitor the situation and make any needed adjustments or take additional safety measures in coordination with law enforcement.”
These protocols are in accordance with board policy JBA/GBN and board policy JFCF.