Educational institutions should respond to reports of sexual assault and misconduct promptly and transparently. I have included a small portion of the notice which I am sure all students and staff received at the school where I am pursuing a master’s in educational counseling psychology.
Notice that my school issued a robust statement the same day that the report came in, with good detail concerning the little information they had about the concern. This is not an isolated case. My school handles such concerns in a uniform and robust way. Just being a student here began with layers of training concerning sexual safety and misconduct, abuse report response, and trauma informed care. Many of the messages I receive as a student contain a clause at the bottom indicating the message is not to be shared outside the school. Not these safety alerts, however.
Alerting the community with current and detailed information of relevance allows students to seek protection and avoids the sense that the institution is hiding important safety information, produces a sense of safety in the community and serves to deter criminal behavior because of the sense that the community is aware, is watching and is responsive to all issues of concern. My feeling is all communities are vulnerable to possible sexual predation. Our most vulnerable community members are only as safe as their community is responsive and transparent.