Problematic Sexual Behavior Assessment and Management

A Silent Epidemic

Sexual harassment in schools starts early and affects most students, according to the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Nearly half of 7th through 12th grade students report having suffered sexual harassment.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported more than 1,000 cases of rape and 7,000 cases of sexual assault other than rape in K-12 public schools during the 2017-18 school year alone, yet these incidents are generally underreported. The GAO found that K-12 students who experience hostile behaviors, such as sexual harassment and assault, are more likely to suffer depression and anxiety, affecting achievement in school.

A 2017 investigative report by the Associated Press uncovered 17,000 official reports of sex assaults by students from fall 2011 to spring 2015. Significantly, the reporting found:

“About 5 percent of the sexual violence involved 5- and 6-year-olds. But the numbers increased significantly between ages 10 and 11 — about the time many students start their middle-school years — and continued rising up until age 14. They then dropped as students progressed through their high school years.

The AP counted only the most severe forms of sexual assault, excluding categories that were more broadly termed, such as sexual harassment, or behavior like kissing on the playground.

Contrary to public perception, data showed that student sexual assaults by peers were far more common than those by teachers. For every adult-on-child sexual attack reported on school property, there were seven assaults by students, AP's analysis of the federal crime data showed.”

Title IX Compliance

While the new Title IX regulations include a framework for how K-12 schools should respond to reports of assault and harassment, schools typically lack staff who are trained and equipped with skills to successfully handle incidents of problematic sexual behavior.

Without focused public attention on how to effectively and efficiently adhere to mandates and regulations stipulated in Title IX, it is doubtful that new government rules alone will improve the handling of problematic sexual behavior allegations in K-12 environments.

Furthermore, these complex rules are difficult to implement without the support of an electronic platform to guide and track their application.

The Title IX regulatory requirements and potential litigation and enforcement are motivating incentives for school districts to have compliant problematic sexual behavior policies and procedures along with training to support their implementation.

The use of an associated electronic incident response protocol helps school districts to track the complexities of complaint management processes and to proactively assess practices and trends.

PCG's Sexual Misconduct Response (SMR) Solution

To support school personnel in their assessment of student threats in K-12 schools, Public Consulting Group (PCG) has developed an industry-leading digital solution for preventative assessment of threats.

This behavioral threat assessment (BTA) solution, which is based on research, best practices, and state or federal statutes, includes a new SMR component. When implemented and utilized effectively, this platform’s tools have the capacity to support school districts and schools in adhering to federal and state requirements using prevention-focused practices.

The SMR pathway tool examines sexual misconduct through a normative versus non-normative lens to provide intervention for students of concern, mitigation of risk to others, and interventions and supports for students who impacted by an act of sexual misconduct.

SMR addresses a broad spectrum of problematic sexual behavior resulting in student-on-student sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying, which may also be criminal in nature.

Our BTA Pathway for Problematic Sexual Behavior

SMR also helps K-12 schools to implement a case management approach to capture and handle incidents of alleged problematic sexual behavior between students. The approach is aligned with school board policies associated with sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying as well as Title IX requirements and code of school conduct violations.

Comprehensive out-of-the-box configurations initiate and methodically address problematic sexual behavior and help district/school teams to:

  • Implement a process for capturing and handling incidents/complaints involving problematic sexual behavior between students from beginning to end until there is a resolution
  • Support early intervention in addressing and responding to problematic sexual behavior in a proactive and consistent manner
  • Conduct a comprehensive investigative process for each SMR reported as sexual harassment, intimidation, bullying, or other sexual misconduct, which may be in violation of district and school policies and procedures
  • Complete interviews of victims, offenders, and witnesses; make risk level determinations; develop interventions; formulate a plan to address and resolve; and generate a report that includes details of how the SMR was handled
  • Generate reports and plans developed to document evidence of actions taken to resolve SMR and related documentation
  • Make the necessary SMR documentation accessible to the district Title IX compliance officer(s), finalize the investigative and report submission process, and comply with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) 60-day timeline for writing and filing formal complaints

PCG's Core Benefits

Graph: PCG's BTA Solution Core Benefits

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