Things to Consider When Developing Your Sexual Misconduct Policies and Protocols

Vol. 1 No. 1

School/Student Culture

  • Foster a culture of respect, support, and predictability.
  • Provide social skills education (what is and is not acceptable at your school).
  • Create an environment where students, parents, and others are encouraged to “tell” of concerns.
  • Provide an effective student advisory and counseling program.

Parent Involvement

  • Teach your parents the signs of “children at risk.”
  • Encourage them to talk with their children about these issues.
  • Remind your parents to any incidents or concerns to school administrators as soon as possible.

Multidiscipline Approach (administrators, teachers, parents, medical professionals, police)

  • Train your personnel and constituents.
  • Recognize signs of risk.
  • Establish response (legal and non-legal) protocols.

Guidelines for Raising a Complaint

  • Communicate the steps/channels.
  • Clarify what actions can be expected from the school.
  • Balance the rights of all parties involved (accuser and accused).
  • Define what does “confidentiality” means in this context.

The Investigation Process

  • Determine:
    1. What the process will look like, and
    2. Who plays what roles.
  • Consider the process for investigating both formal and informal complaints—and potentially valid and false claims.
  • Know when to involve an attorney/insurance company.
  • Know when to involve law enforcement.
  • Determine possible outcomes, including
    1. Resolution,
    2. Re-negotiation, and
    3. Punishment.
  • Communicate the outcome in an appropriate manner to interested parties.

ISM has several resources that can be of assistance as you update your policy.

Check out our best-selling book, Sample Employee Handbook: Policies for Private-Independent Schools

Upcoming workshop—Hire Smart, Let Go Safely, November 7-10, 2010, Wilmington, DE.

Consulting service—Customized Human Resources Consulting Services—Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Training

Consulting service—Hiring and Dismissal Training

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