From time to time we’ll enjoy the contribution of a guest blogger on the Trustee U page. Today I’m delighted to present Debra Wilson, Legal Counsel at NAIS and featured speaker on our most recent Trustee U video podcast, entitled #1 Legal Issue for Schools: Student Safety.
In this blog, Debra Wilson highlights the importance of addressing student safety at the fiduciary level, as well as the need for maintaining our proper roles and responsibilities in the partnership between board and administration.
Please feel free to add your thoughts and questions in the Comments section at the bottom of this page.
Debra Wilson, Legal Counsel at NAIS, writes:
It has been a little over a year since the facts of the Penn State sex abuse scandal broke. Since then, as often happens when a high profile case of this nature breaks, the news has been filled with more victims and institutions coming forward with facts and allegations about other instances of sexual abuse of minors. The independent school world has not been insulated from these troubling events. Sadly, there are almost no child related industries that have not been scarred by similar stories over time.
Many schools have been overwhelmed by even the idea that students in their care could be preyed on by the very people who should be taking the most care with our vulnerable charges. Many trustees are concerned, but they also don’t want to step too far over the line into school management territory. While the school leadership is the group to research and implement best practices and policies in this area, trustees have two important roles in the steps that schools need to take.