Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Montgomery County Public Schools posts 80 percent increase in reports of sexual harassment

More than 200 incidents of sexual harassment of students were reported in Montgomery County’s public schools in the last academic year, a one-year jump of more than 80 percent, according to new data from the Maryland school system.
The numbers show that reports of such misconduct — including inappropriate physical contact, written messages and verbal remarks — rose for a third straight year, to 214 in 2015-16. That was 96 more than the previous year’s total.
School officials said Wednesday they plan to look into the issue and will move to a new process in the next school year that will provide clearer data on serious incidents, including sexual harassment...
...But some advocates in Montgomery say that while a reporting increase would be a positive step, more needs to be done to keep students safe. They view the increase as a sign that serious sex-related incidents may have gone unreported in the past.
“There are still too many incidents, and I don’t think the culture has changed enough,” said Susan Burkinshaw, a parent and community advocate who served on a school district advisory group that examined child abuse issues.
The new numbers, provided in response to a public records request by The Washington Post, come as Montgomery officials have scrambled to respond to a string of sex offense allegations...
...The data show that last school year a total of 247 sex-related incidents were reported, including two rapes, 24 sexual assaults, seven incidents of sexual activity and 214 of sexual harassment. Police were contacted in 64 cases...
...Jennifer Alvaro, an activist on sexual abuse issues who also served on the district’s child abuse advisory group, called for greater transparency and more urgency on the issue.
She said she is troubled by the surge in harassment reports for several reasons, including that the definition is so broad it is impossible to tell what kinds of reported incidents are on the rise. “You can’t correct a problem if you don’t know what the problem is,” she said...

1 comment:

  1. "Police were contacted in 64 cases."
    How many of these are dismissed?
    How many actually make it to court?
    How many are actually prosecuted?
    How many receive jail sentences?
    The whole thing really stinks!


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