US: School district defends response to sexual assault allegations as students walk out - PressFrom - US
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US School district defends response to sexual assault allegations as students walk out

14:40  08 october  2019
14:40  08 october  2019 Source:   wmtw.com

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Sexual assault is an act in which a person intentionally sexually touches another person without that person's consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will.

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About three dozen Cape Elizabeth High School students walked out of class on Monday, questioning the suspension of three students who said they were trying to call attention to alleged sexual assaults.

Superintendent Donna Wolfrom told WMTW News 8 that she can't discuss specific investigations, but said they followed their detailed policy in responding to recent claims.

Students who took part in the walkout believe they should have more of a voice in the process.

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OVW's Student Action Packet is designed to help students navigate the complexities of conducting a campus climate survey on sexual assault at their own college or university. The items in the Packet give students resources to help them effectively engage with their college or university's administration.

- A couple hundred students walked out of South Eugene High School just after 11 Friday As for administration's response to allegations of sexual assault , that is a different matter all together. I hope to reassure everyone associated with this school that we take such allegations very seriously.

"It was in protest of these suspensions, but more importantly, in support of all the survivors," sophomore Aela Mansmann said.

Mansmann said she was one of the suspended students. She said she posted a sticky note on the girls' bathroom wall.

"It reads, 'There's a rapist in our school and you know who it is,'" Mansmann said.

Mansmann said she feels the school district did not adequately respond to the allegations. Mansmann said she was interviewed as part of the school district's investigation.

"I don't feel like the response of the school was thorough. That is why we had gone to the school board meeting last June to express our concerns," Mansmann said.

Mansmann was among several people who spoke to the school board in hopes of spurring change.

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Mansman said she felt her suspension, which was issued on Friday, came in response to her efforts to report sexual assault allegations.

Wolfrom said the school district drops everything to investigate sexual assault and Mansmann's sticky note was deemed bullying because the subject of the note was identifiable to students.

"When a student's speech bullies another student, we are required by law to investigate and take action, Wolfrom said.

"Myself and the others suspended have to go through a class on how not to bully and what bullying means," Mansmann said.

The students who walked out on Monday put forth a list of demands, including more sexual assault education and resources.

Wolfrom said the school district responded to the concerns in June, and a first reading of the amended sexual assault policy will be heard at Tuesday's school board meeting.

Students said they hope to be heard.

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Students at North Andover High School walked out of class Wednesday morning in protest the school 's handling of sexual assault allegations . They are hoping to start a dialogue on the topic with the school ."There were a lot of kids," said senior Madison Miller. "I think that was really good that

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"I just want there to be a wall broken down between the students and the administration so we can all talk and feel like we understand each other, because I feel like there's that disconnect right now," senior Christena Gikas said.

The high school's procedure manual details how to make a complaint, emphasizing that any student, even if they are unsure, should report a claim of sexual assault.

The manual said that the school administrator in charge is to give the subject of the claim an opportunity to be heard and must complete the investigation within three weeks.

Mansmann was a WMTW News 8 Community Champions earlier this year for her efforts to organize a summit on sexual violence and abuse.

READ MORE:School district defends response to sexual assault allegations as students walk out

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