FACT SHEET: Ensuring Safe and Supportive Schools for All Students

Today, The White House Council on Women and Girls, together with the U.S. Department of Education, the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, and The National Crittenton Foundation, is hosting a conference titled “Trauma-Informed Approaches in School: Supporting Girls of Color and Rethinking Discipline.”…All too often, girls of color experience disproportionately high rates of school suspensions. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) black girls are 8 percent of enrolled students, but represent 14 percent of students receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions. By adopting supportive school discipline practices, schools foster success for all students and increase the likelihood that students will stay engaged and stay in school.

As part of today’s conference, the White House is announcing additional supports from the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault to help address sexual assault misconduct in schools:

Safe Place to Learn: Prevent, Intercede, and Respond to Sexual Harassment of K-12 Students: Today, the U.S. Department of Education will release Safe Place to Learn, an online, interactive resource package to support efforts to create a positive school climate and healthy learning environment. This package highlights strategies and instruments with which many schools are already working to create a school community committed to preventing discrimination based on sex and its most extreme corollary, sexual violence. The materials in the package aim to help three primary staff groups: administrative leadership; all building staff; and staff responsible for interceding and responding to students. The resource package contains guidance, e-learning training modules, and information about trauma sensitivity, resources to support current and ongoing conversations and efforts to prevent bullying, sexual harassment and violence, and provide safe, supportive learning environments for all students, in age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate ways.

Considerations for School District Sexual Misconduct Policies:Today, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault will release a document highlighting issues for K-12 districts to consider when bringing together a multi-disciplinary team to develop sexual misconduct policies as part of their overall response to sexual misconduct. By using this document as a guide, it will enable K-12 teams to include the essential components of a comprehensive sexual misconduct plan. The document covers reporting options, support services for victims, definitions, confidentiality, the grievance process, and other critical areas. It also provides links to Federal government resources for those wanting further detail on a particular topic.

Read more on WhiteHouse.gov.