Sexual assault in schools: not just a college problem

Jan 20th, 2016

This week, the Washington Post shed light on the important issue of sexual violence in K-12 schools. While college sexual assault has garnered a great deal of attention over the past several years, the impact of sexual violence on younger students has also increasingly been understood as a critical concern for sexual assault prevention. Our Sexual Assault Legal Institute works with survivors throughout Maryland—including students in K-12 schools. As SALI clients, children and youth can receive comprehensive legal services, including consultation about potential options within the civil and criminal justice systems. SALI also negotiates on behalf of its clients to ensure that student-survivors receive reasonable accommodations under Title IX, including that schools issue stay-away orders, provide scheduling and testing accommodations, protect student privacy, and otherwise mitigate the impact of sexual violence on a student-survivor’s education. For more information, please contact the Sexual Assault Legal Institute at 301-565-2277. Stories like those featured in this article illustrate the importance of providing comprehensive, age-appropriate sexual assault and abuse prevention education for all students—not just students in college. This legislative session, HB 72 seeks to ensure just that. The proposed legislation would require all schools in Maryland to provide sexual assault and abuse prevention education in an age-appropriate manner, ensure that programs are implemented by trained and skilled teachers, and that this education be incorporated into the health program curricula for all schools. The bill is sponsored by Delegate Eric Luedtke. MCASA looks forward to working with the General Assembly on this important issue.

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