For Immediate Release: Jan. 8, 2021
Contact: Janson Silvers (336) 370-8307
Media Desk (336) 574-5730
District is State Leader in Sexual Assault Violence Training
GCS is beginning year-long, in-depth training for school-based staff
Greensboro, N.C. – Guilford County Schools is leading the state in taking a proactive approach to prevent sexual assault and protect children who may be abused. The district is partnering with the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA) to deliver a series of trainings to all teachers, administrators and instructional support staff.
All teachers, administrators and instructional support staff will participate in four 90-minute sessions throughout the year: learning how to recognize and report abuse, assault and sex trafficking of minors; a separate session focused on sex trafficking; learning concrete ways to support students who have experienced sexual violence or other forms of trauma; and focusing on prevention at the school level.
School administrative teams will also take two additional 90-minute courses: one in mandatory reporting and Title IX procedures, as well as a course about the “adultification” of black girls and how harmful myths about their maturity can be detrimental.
Robin Colbert, associate director of NCCASA, says, “For over a decade, NCCASA has advocated for state-level policies to provide prevention education in the schools. GCS is going above and beyond the rest of the state in how it’s tackling this issue. We are thrilled to work with GCS to support this initiative, and we hope other districts will continue this level of commitment to training, both in terms of the level of training and the number of people being trained, to protect and prevent sexual abuse of minors.”
Statistics from the North Carolina Council of Women and Youth Involvement show there were 300 child sex offenses reported in Guilford County in 2018-19, out of 1,954 reports statewide.
“As school employees, we are uniquely positioned to be aware of the signs of abuse and to know when to take action,” says Denise Patterson, interim chief student support officer. “These trainings will give us the skills to protect children from further harm and help them heal.”
About Guilford County Schools
Guilford County Schools, the third largest school district in North Carolina and one of the 50 largest of more than 14,000 in the United States, serves 70,000 PK-12 students at 126 schools. With approximately 10,000 employees, GCS works in partnership with parents, businesses, colleges and the community to deliver an education that connects student interests and skills with the careers and economy of our future here and around the world. We provide educational choices to meet individual student needs in a culturally diverse citizenship and new opportunities to help our students Soar to Greatness. For more information, visit the district’s website at www.gcsnc.com<www.gcsnc.com>.
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