Magazine article District Administration

Training Needed to Prevent Physical, Sexual Abuse in Schools

Magazine article District Administration

Training Needed to Prevent Physical, Sexual Abuse in Schools

Article excerpt

Nearly one in 10 K12 students are sexually abused by teachers, coaches, principals and other personnel, according to the Department of Education. To combat a growing number of abuse cases, a California insurance provider is offering free online training courses to help district staff learn how to report abuse.

Keenan, an insurance brokerage and consulting firm that works with some 700 California districts, created the Physical and Sexual Abuse Prevention Resource Center in April. It is a website that offers courses on sexual misconduct, establishing professional boundaries with students, child abuse identification and intervention, online safety, and youth suicide awareness and prevention. The courses take about 20 to 30 minutes each to complete.

"We've experienced a significant increase in the number of both sexual and physical abuse claims," says John Stephens, senior vice president and property and casualty practice leader for Keenan. Recent legislation in California raised the age--from 18 to 26--at which people can file claims that they were abused as a minor--this increases a school's liability, Stephens adds.

Districts are often insured for up to $1 million--the average cost of a school abuse settlement today, Stephens says. "If they don't have these claims, those are monies that are going back to the district that they can put in the classroom," he says. …

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