As the 2018-2019 school year begins, the Sexual Misconduct Consulting& Investigations (SMCI) division of T&M Protection Resources, LLC (T&M) continues to expand its training curriculum for academic institutions on issues related to sexual misconduct.
Since its formation in 2011, SMCI's team of former sex crimes prosecutors have been providing training services to K-12 private and public schools, colleges and universities throughout the New York tri-state area and across the country. Training has expanded over the years to address the challenges faced by schools and now includes subjects such as: sexual harassment; mandatory reporting requirements; recognizing and reporting child abuse; boundary guidelines; appropriate interactions with students (faculty and student relations and coach and student relations); avoiding the appearance of impropriety; understanding 'consent' (geared towards high school seniors and college students); appropriate online communications (email, social media, texting); and the risks associated with ‘sexting.’
“Sexual misconduct in schools is a multifaceted and complex issue,” states Laura Kirschstein, Esq., Vice President and head of T&M's SMCI division. “It can occur in the classroom, in the hallways, in an email and after school during practice. Schools know they need to take every prudent measure available to educate their students, faculty, administrators, athletic coaches and others. No school wants to be the next news headline due to an unaddressed allegation.” Ms. Kirschstein goes on to say that, “to help schools raise awareness and encourage appropriate behavior, T&M has devised numerous training programs that are customized to each school's policies and operating culture. Working with each school, we develop a training curriculum that is age and audience appropriate and that meets the school's approval. Our team then delivers this curriculum in-person at the school during a sensitive and compelling training session.”
In fact, Ms. Kirschstein notes, many schools have been repeat-clients for years and routinely retain T&M for multiple sessions covering multiple issues and require the training to be customized for various age groups and audiences. “Training isn't just for students or faculty. T&M provides age-appropriate training to students as young as the first grade and speaks to diverse audiences to include parents, members of the school's athletic organizations and school clergy. Regardless of age group or audience, SMCI’s goal is the same – to enable academic institutions to enhance the safety of the school community.”