New White House effort on sexual assault in K-12 schools


RESPONDING TO SEXUAL ASSAULT IN K-12: The White House today is spotlighting the need to combat sexual trauma in K-12 schools by releasing an online interactive tool, called a Safe Place to Learn, with information for schools on the topic. It’s also putting out guidance for districts to consider when developing a sexual misconduct policy. “It follows from very serious, very egregious issues we see in our enforcement work as well as ongoing requests for information from our educators who want to do right by the students,” Catherine Lhamon, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for Civil Rights, told Morning Education. She noted that, “distressingly,” the department handles cases involving student perpetrators and others where educators are the offending party. Officials involved say they hope the new resources will also help educators as they work with students who may have experienced sexual trauma outside school.

— Tina Tchen, director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, said the tools are the administration’s latest effort to address sexual assault. Prior steps taken by the Obama administration include the “Not Alone” report, released in 2014. “One of the things we heard in a lot of that work was the need to also provide ‘best practices’ and guidance for administrators and schools in the K-12 context, which provides different challenges,” Tchen said.


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