As the U.S. Senate wrestles with sexual misconduct allegations against a Supreme Court nominee, the Fairfax County School Board has moved to confront the issue in its system.
The School Board has passed a resolution calling the sexual misconduct problem “pervasive” in society and vowing to take positive steps to address it. They are:
- The Fairfax County School Board will lead a cultural change…regarding sexual misconduct to ensure that the organization continues to foster a caring culture, encourage open communication, properly educate and train students and employees, and hold accountable those who fail to uphold our standards of conduct and reporting.
- Measure the prevalence of sexual misconduct (by) periodically conducting anonymous surveys of students and school system personnel to determine the best focus of resources for education and prevention of sexual misconduct.
- Continue to require sexual misconduct prevention education for both students (as part of the health and FLE curriculum) and school system personnel (as part of their onboarding and periodically thereafter).
- Maintain its enforcement of procedures to confirm that investigations are launched immediately after suspected incidents of sexual misconduct are brought to the attention of school system officials, that interim protective measures are implemented, and that appropriate disciplinary action is taken following those investigations.
A Fairfax County Youth Survey, taken in 2017 and 2018 reveals that 14.2 percent of students reported being sexually harassed in the past year, with 20.8 percent of female students and 7.3 percent of male students reporting the aggression. The School Board says it’s “committed to ensuring that every child feels safe, secure, loved, and cared for when he or she attends school, participates in school activities, and interacts with school system personnel.”