TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT
Smithfield Public Schools does not tolerate teen dating violence or sexual assault.
TEEN DATING VIOLENCE is a pattern of behavior where one person threatens or uses physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse to control his or her dating partner.
SEXUAL ASSAULT includes behaviors that are attempted or perpetrated against a victim’s will or when a victim cannot consent because of age, disability or the influence of alcohol or drugs. Sexual assault may involve actual or threatened physical force, use of weapons, coercion, intimidation, or pressure and may include:
- Intentional touching of someone in ways that are unwanted
- Exposure to exhibitionism
- Undesired exposure to pornography or
- Public display of explicit images that were taken in a private context or when the victim was unaware.
AT SCHOOL means:
- on school premises,
- at any school sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises,
- on a school transportation vehicle,
- at an official school bus stop,
- using property or equipment provided by the school, or
- acts which create a material and substantial disruption of the education process or the orderly operation of the school.
ADMINISTRATION AND STAFF EDUCATION
The school district will provide training on the Smithfield Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault Policy to staff who have significant contact with students. Per the Lindsay Ann Burke Act, the training shall specifically include, but not be limited to:
- Basic principles and warning signs of dating violence
- The Smithfield Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault Policy.
On-going age-appropriate education on healthy relationships shall be provided to all students in grades K-12, with specific instruction relating to teen dating violence taught yearly in grades 7-12. Per the Lindsay Ann Burke Act this curriculum shall include but not be limited to:
- Defining teen dating violence;
- Recognizing dating violence warning signs; and
- Characteristics of healthy relationships.
The middle and high school principal shall establish and prominently publicize to students, staff, volunteers, and parents/guardians, how a report of dating violence and/or sexual assault may be filed and how this report will be acted upon (See attached Incident Form).
The school staff shall report all aspects of teen dating violence and sexual assault that may come to their attention. All reports should be made to the principal. The victim, anyone who witnesses an incidence, and anyone who has credible information that an act of dating violence or sexual assault has taken place may also file a report.
Students who observe any act covered by this policy or who have reasonable grounds to believe an act is taking or has taken place in violation of this policy are obligated to report the incident to school authorities. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary actions. The victim of the dating violence or sexual assault shall, however, not be subject to discipline for failure to report the dating violence or assault.
When there is a reasonable suspicion that a child is either a perpetrator or a victim of teen dating violence or sexual assault, the parents/guardians of the child will be notified immediately by the principal or designee.
The school principal shall promptly investigate all allegations of dating violence and sexual assault. If the allegation is found to be credible, appropriate disciplinary actions, subject to applicable due process requirements, will be imposed. When the act involves conduct that involves criminal law, the police will be notified.
The investigation will include an assessment by the school psychologist and/or social worker of what effect the teen dating violence or sexual assault has had on the victim. If a student is the victim of an act in violation of this policy and as a result, does not feel safe in his or her school environment, the Principal of the school will prepare a written school safety plan outlining what steps will be taken to provide the student with a safe educational environment. This plan will be developed, if possible, with input from the parents of the student. Staff members who are to implement the plan will help formulate it.
MAINTAINING A WRITTEN RECORD OF THE COMPLAINT
The Smithfield School Department shall maintain a complete record for each complaint and how it was investigated and resolved. Written records shall be maintained in a confidential manner and will be maintained for three years from the date of the resolution of an investigation unless new circumstances dictate that the file should be kept for a longer period of time. This reporting is in addition to records maintained on the student information system.
The disciplinary actions for violations of this policy shall be determined by the school administrators in accordance with the Smithfield Disciplinary Policy and may include additional civil and criminal penalties.