School Sexual Assault Part of a Game?

School Sexual Assault

A senior at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH  sexually assaulted a fifteen year old classmate.  The police investigation revealed that the assault may have been part of a competition.  The assaulter and his friends were competing to see who could “hook up” the most before the end of the school year.  The assaulter is facing seven felony charges, but the others involved in the “game” may not be charged.

Some precepts of Title IX

School Sexual Assault Analysis

K12 schools, and higher education institutions, are covered under Title IX, part of a federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination.  Recent guidance from the Obama Administration warns schools that waiting to start an inquiry into sexual crime allegations until after a police investigation has been concluded is unacceptable.  Sexual violence is viewed under the law as an extreme form of hostile environment/sexual harassment and must be addressed.

Schools need to plan for sexual assaults on their campus.  Remaining compliant with Title IX means knowing how to secure a crime scene for law enforcement.  It also means placing a top priority on reporting sexual assaults to the proper authorities.

In Indiana, and specifically in my school district, we not only contact law enforcement, but the Division of Child Services.  We also conduct our own internal investigation, ensuring not to interfere with other investigations.  Policies and guidelines should be in place concerning disseminating video files, if applicable, as well as other aspects of coordination with local and state agencies.

Any report of school sexual assault should generate an immediate, comprehensive response by the school.

An A+ in School Safety

A plus school safety

These photos depict an excellent utilization of murals to enhance student safety in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina Public School System.  This clear marking makes it less likely that an aggressor could claim they accidentally entered the girl’s restroom by mistake.  They also reduce the chances of students suffering embarrassment from the common problem of people entering the wrong restroom by mistake.

These photos depict an excellent utilization of murals to enhance student safety in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina Public School System. This clear marking makes it less likely that an aggressor could claim they accidentally entered the girl’s restroom by mistake. They also reduce the chances of students suffering embarrassment from the common problem of people entering the wrong restroom by mistake.

A+ Example of Murals to Enhance School Safety

Murals Enhance School Safety in Chapel Hill

While reviewing a school security report prepared by one of our analysts, we noted an unusually creative use of murals to mark student restrooms.  The photos were taken at Phillips Middle School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  We would like to share this excellent example of an A+ in school safety effort.  All of us have probably walked into a restroom designed for the opposite sex by mistake.  There are also instances in schools where a male student enters a girl’s restroom intentionally but claims they did so by mistake.

A+ in School Safety Solution at Phillips Middle School

Staff at Phillips Middle School came up with an excellent solution to this that is superior to anything I have seen in my visits to thousands of K12 schools over the years.  While I have seen other examples of clearly marked student restrooms, none of the approaches I have seen have been as clear as this example.  By combining murals depicting students with signage on two walls, the staff at Phillips have dramatically enhanced communication and significantly reduced the opportunity for a student to enter a restroom designed for students of the opposite sex intentionally or accidental accidentally.

A+ in School Safety effort and effect

Working routinely with architects and school planners over the years, I have encountered hundreds of really great ideas to improve school safety through murals, signage and other visible features.   Fortunately, I still learn new and better ways to use visual indicators to improve school safety, security, climate, culture and emergency preparedness each year.  We are always looking to our clients for A+ school safety ideas.

We are impressed with the innovative and effective approach used by the staff at Phillips High School.  They remind us just how powerful a relatively simple and inexpensive approach to improve school safety and climate can be.  For this, we give the team at Phillips an A+ for innovation.

      

SRO Dies after Breaking Up Fight

SRO Suffers Heart Attack

Sergeant Daryl Giles, an SRO with the Philadelphia School Police Department, suffered a heart attack after breaking up a large fight in George Washington High School.  He complained of chest pains, and was then found in a school restroom, unresponsive.  He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

He had served in the Philadelphia School Police Department for 19 years, and was a U.S. Army veteran.

c_daryl-giles

End of Watch: June 2, 2014
Thank you for your service, Sergeant Giles.