• 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

Heads of school and trustees play an important role in protecting your school community from sexual predators. Ensure they are well-versed in your school’s policies, procedures, reporting options, training programs, victim resources, and administrative roles responsible for implementing these measures.

Leaders with a deep understanding of school culture who engage in vocal support for reporting will help create an environment in which predatory behavior is unwelcome and boundary violations of any kind aren’t tolerated.

Examine this report to identify key questions 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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