to the needs of student victims and reinforcing the accountability of student abusers, whether or not a victim has chosen to pursue or has a current order of protection. While student victims should be consulted regarding the development of a safety plan (see Guiding Principles, 1.d.) and their needs taken into account and responded to, school personnel have a responsibility to provide a safe school environment for all students and should act accordingly. Student victims should be supported in their choices to seek legal assistance and protection, such as pursuing criminal charges or, when the abuser is under age 16, seeking assistance from Family Court.
Clear expectations should be provided to the student abuser regarding any prohibited behavior. All relevant school personnel should be apprised of the situation and required to report any potential violations to the appropriate authority. In addition, school personnel should take actions to limit the abuser's access to the victim including requiring the abuser to change his schedule to avoid shared classes, lunch or free periods, and/or home rooms. Student victims should not be involuntarily penalized in the implementation of safety-related strategies.
School personnel should also integrate parental notification into the policies and procedures should there be a violation of school imposed expectations of the abuser and/or a violation of an order of protection.
f.Schools should develop a plan by which to provide crisis debriefing to students and faculty in the event a domestic violence-related incident occurs on school grounds and/or a fellow student or teacher is harmed in a domestic violence-related incident.
Most schools have mechanisms in place to provide support to students and faculty when tragedy strikes, such as a student being seriously hurt or killed in a car crash, a student's suicide or suicide attempt, or a student's accidental drug overdose. Schools should make full use of crisis debriefing in response to injury or death of a student or teacher as a result of a domestic violence-related assault. Crisis debriefing teams should be knowledgeable about domestic violence and could include a local domestic violence service provider.
g.Domestic violence and, when age-appropriate, abuse and violence in teen dating relationships should be addressed in classes dealing with health and/or life skills, such as Health Education. Education should include issues related to gender equity, sexual harassment, and safety planning, and should also provide information on the services and support available for affected students and/or their parents. In addition, domestic violence-related information should be integrated into other subjects areas.