Exeter is committed to ensuring a safe environment for our students. There is no higher priority for this school, and any conduct that results in the harm of our students will not be tolerated. Our approach is focused on sustaining and strengthening a culture consistent with the core values of the Academy. We have policies and programs in place to prevent sexual harassment and assault by all members of our community. We educate all community members about healthy relationships and boundaries, and seek to empower victims and bystanders to come forward if misconduct occurs. We also continuously look for ways to improve practices and policies, and revisit campus programming to ensure it meets the needs of our school community.
Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Action Plan
We believe that the most effective approach to prevention is holistic, is rooted in the community, and engages the full participation of every member of our school family. We have developed a plan that details our intensive work in the following areas: policies and procedures; student support and assistance; education and training; climate and culture; and assessment and improvement. See our plan and progress.
We have embarked on a national search for a director of student safety and well-being to oversee much of this work. While we complete that search, we have engaged two national experts, Tina Sciocchetti and Jane Stapleton, to provide technical assistance. Together they will undertake education, training and sexual misconduct reporting and investigation case management responsibilities pending selection of a permanent candidate.
Student Members of Exeter’s Community
Our Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program for students is a layered, integrated effort to educate and prevent instances of sexual misconduct, including assault and harassment. Current initiatives in the area of student health and well-being, as well as longstanding school policies, are at the core of our efforts. Our sexual misconduct policies are detailed in our student handbook, the E Book.
Through this program, we strive to create resonant lessons and events for students at each grade level that help them understand how to handle sexual situations and inappropriate behavior and seek assistance when needed. These include peer education initiatives, assemblies and programs, health education courses, and a host of other support programs and services provided to students throughout the year.
Adult Members of Exeter’s Community
PEA has extensive policies and procedures in place that govern our hiring process, set clear guidelines for the conduct of all faculty and staff members and ensure that appropriate action is taken in the event of inappropriate conduct. In addition, our robust training programs provide all employees with guidance and tools to help ensure health and safe student-adult relationships.
To support these standards, we do the following:
- Faculty and staff undergo comprehensive background investigations before they are hired.
- Employees in the health center, campus safety and children’s center undergo additional background screening.
- Adult family living with faculty and staff on campus undergo background screening.
- The Academy has a zero tolerance policy regarding sexually inappropriate touching and/or interaction of any kind between adults and students, regardless of age, including all forms of sexual activity and sexual harassment. Violators of this policy are subject to serious penalties, up to and including termination and being barred from campus.
- The Academy’s strict Code of Conduct prohibits improper adult-student interactions.
- All employees receive comprehensive training and development in the areas of sexual abuse and assault, including their responsibilities under New Hampshire mandated reporting laws for misconduct.
- Boundaries training for all employees addresses appropriate interactions with students and defines prohibited behavior, including sexual or romantic interactions
- Sexually-related assaults involving students and other violations of New Hampshire’s Safe Schools Act are reported to the Exeter Police Department and the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) for official action.