“No school can be a great school unless it’s a safe school,” is a familiar phrase often cited by Secretary Duncan, and one that he repeated earlier today as he opened the first session of the National Summit on Gender-Based Violence Among Young People in Arlington, Va.
The Summit is being hosted by ED’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and brings together organizations, educators and federal, state and local leaders to discuss ways to end gender-based violence among young people. Participants will share their expertise, give feedback on existing federal efforts, and provide recommendations on the future direction of federal policy and programming.
At ED, we are supporting efforts across the country to help prevent sexual violence in schools and on campuses. Through our grant programs, K-12 school districts are providing year-round training for school personnel on sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and mandated reporting of incidents. Our grant funding is also helping universities and colleges that are preventing interpersonal violence and starting innovative intervention programs. These universities are also conducting research into best practices to curtail interpersonal violence, often with impressive results.
Earlier this week, Secretary Duncan and Vice President Biden announced new guidance to help schools, colleges and universities better understand their obligations under federal civil rights laws to prevent and respond to the problem of campus sexual assault. Vice President Biden noted that the Obama administration is the first administration to state that sexual violence is not only a crime, but can also be a violation of an individual’s civil rights.
Check out our media advisory for more information on the two-day National Summit on Gender-Based Violence Among Young People.