A Commitment to Best Practices for Student Safety
Among all that is done to create a welcoming, nurturing and positive school experience at The Gunnery, we take very seriously the issues of appropriate behaviors and conduct relative to relationships among all members of our community. We strive to adhere to “best practices”, with established standards, guidance and resources for our students, faculty and staff. These are primarily referenced in our handbooks for and regular communications with students, parents, faculty and staff, and are an integral part of the ongoing training, education and resources provided.
The school follows widely accepted best practices, including, but not limited to:
- clearly defining and articulating in our handbooks what unacceptable boundary violating behaviors are, relative to student-adult and student-student interactions.
- reviewing and establishing protocols for off-campus trips, including trips for co-curriculars, defining expectations, rules and responsibilities for chaperones and students.
- making clear and easily accessible in the school’s Student Handbook (available to students, parents and faculty in Highlander Nation) a stand-alone section on sexual misconduct, and noting who to contact for support or information.
- forming a sexual assault response team (“SART”) and providing names and contact information for students and staff, and clarifying roles for support, investigation and adjudication.
- ensuring that our Student Handbook has the names and contact information for reporting obligations to Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), Head of School, Dean of Students, and Director of Counseling easily accessible in the section on reporting.
- reviewing and using a screening process for new employees that includes reference phone calls, phone calls to known past employers and a social media check.
- making all reasonable efforts, as permitted by law, to disclose the reasons for termination or discipline of an employee to any known, subsequent employer if that employee was the subject of an investigation concerning an allegation of abuse, neglect, or sexual misconduct, and the subsequent employer provides services to children or adolescents.
- including in the Faculty Handbook the requirements in state law for immediate reporting to Connecticut DCF and school administration, as well as sanctions for not reporting, which may include termination.
- holding training regularly for staff, faculty and administrators on sexual misconduct, boundary violations and reporting obligations.
- holding training regularly for students concerning adult sexual misconduct.
- clarifying the standards and expectations regarding consent in physical intimacy between students.