*Please note that these are not all inclusive, nor should they be construed as legal advice for your school or institution.
School is out for the summer, but that definitely does NOT mean that you should not be helping your school and school district comply with Title IX and Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Guidelines. Below are a few of my thoughts on what schools should be doing. In order to know what more your school should be doing, please set up a consultation with me. We are here to help individualize a “best” practice plan for you!
What Should Your School/Institution Be Doing?
Awareness programs: Community-wide and audience-specific programming, initiatives, and strategies that increase audience knowledge and share information and resources to prevent violence, promote safety, and reduce perpetration.
Ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns: Need to be sustained over time; focus on increasing understanding of relevant topics; use a range of strategies with audiences throughout the institution. Primary Prevention: Be Pro-Active. Go ahead and implement this at the K-12 level!
For colleges and universities (and should also be applicable for K-12) the regulations says that schools need to deliver to ALL incoming students and staff the following: programming, initiatives and strategies informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness or outcome that are intended to stop dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking before they occur through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships and sexuality, encourage safe bystander intervention, and seek to change behavior and social norms in healthy and safe directions.
Healthy sexuality needs to be geared towards all types of students.
Risk Reduction: Ask yourself this question: Are our programs currently focused on patterns/behaviors of victims or of perpetrators? Do we have options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction and to increase empowerment for victims in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence?
Bystander Intervention: You want training that is based on helping students and staff acquire skills in 5 different areas —
1) identifying the potentially harmful situation,
2) knowing their options,
3) determining what role to play,
4) taking effective action, and
5) when to call for additional help. Training should bridge from one skill set to another skill set.
School/Institution/Campus Climate Survey: If done properly, this will be really helpful. Does it measure what is supposed to be measured? Is it based on a validated survey instrument? Is it tested to see if it measures what it is supposed to measure?
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