13 April 2016

K: Kids at School

Happy Hump (Wednesday) Day! It's also the 13th of April and this great A-to-Z Challenge I have embarked on with some of the most delightful bloggers I have met. I have chosen a tough set of topics - Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness - and am amazed by all the wonderful feedback and comments I have received from you all! Thank you!

So moving on... Post #11! Let's address the issue of kids at school. Do you, parents and kids alike, know your rights?

In the United States, under federal law Title IX, schools are forbidden from any form of sexual discrimination. This includes:
  • Pregnant students 
  • Parenting students 
  • Females in male-dominated fields of study (i.e. sciences & techonologies) 
  • Sexual violence 
  • Gender-based discrimination 
  • Sexual harassment
Credit: Know Your IX
If you have been the victim of sexual discrimination (including rape, voyeurism, and/or harassment), my deepest sympathies! Please know that the law is on your side. Each campus is required to have a Title IX Coordinator whose contact information by law must be accessible on the school's website. For instance, on the Newbury Park High School website, the information is available in a PDF giving a phone number and address for the district's Deputy Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent.

It is the job of the Title IX Coordinator to manage complaints and even if you do not file a police report it is the duty (by law) of the school and coordinator to conduct a thorough investigation. If you are not happy with the result, you have the right by law to appeal the decision.
Credit: Know your IX
Also, victims must feel safe and free to continue to their education at said institution.  Schools are required to issue a no contact directive to the accused (no matter the decision) and provide any necessary changes to class schedules, housing, extracurricular activities, etc. so the student can continue at school without any further sexual harassment, violence and discrimination.

As of 3 February 2016, there were 81 sexual violence cases open for investigation in elementary and secondary schools across the country! That number is more than doubled in colleges with over 200 cases. For more information, visit"Title IX: The Basics".
Do not let the school bully you into taking a "leave of absence"! Do not feel like you have to attend mediation with the accused (this is strictly forbidden for any allegations of sexual violence under Title IX!) Remember the law is on your side! Ask your teacher and school administration if the have a procedure as required by Title IX. Let's hold them accountable.

Miss yesterday's A to Z Challenge post? J for Jungle Book.