• Sexual Assault and Misconduct
  • Report
  • K-12

Safeguarding Schools From Sexual Predators: What Independent School Heads and Trustees Should Ask

Christine McHugh, Esq.
April 2021

Why Read This

In recent years, many independent schools have faced sexual predator scandals. Some school leaders were uninformed about allegations of incidents on their campuses, while others failed to act. This failure of leadership oversight has many heads of school and trustees wondering how to safeguard their communities from similar tragedies.

This report provides institutions with key questions school leaders should ask about abuse and suggestions for creating a culture of prevention and reporting.

Key Takeaways

  • Apply school standards and policies impartially and consistently, without exception — including for student-athletes and for employees who bring prestige to your school.
  • If possible, give one staff member oversight of all reports of sexual abuse so you can identify trends and repeat offenders or establish a process that looks for these patterns.
  • While application and interview questions inquiring into prior actions can reveal conduct that may not otherwise appear on a background check, keep in mind that calls to references are often the best source of information to weed out possible predators.

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