Officials say education, training needed to combat abuse in scho - WSMV News 4

Officials say education, training needed to combat abuse in schools

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The lawsuit claims Brentwood Academy officials knew about the alleged rape and did nothing. (WSMV) The lawsuit claims Brentwood Academy officials knew about the alleged rape and did nothing. (WSMV)
BRENTWOOD, TN (WSMV) -

Was an alleged rape victim at Brentwood Academy told to turn the other cheek by school administration?

A lawsuit says yes, but the headmaster says absolutely not.

In a statement released Thursday, Headmaster Curt Masters said he is ready to vigorously defend all of these claims.

These sorts of allegations are all too family to the Nashville Sexual Assault Center.

“Sadly a lot of people don’t know how to respond to child sex abuse,” said Kim Janecek, education curriculum manager with the Sexual Assault Center.

But they should, according to state law.

Erin’s Law, which passed in 2014, requires all public schools to adopt a sex abuse education curriculum. However, there is no penalty if they don’t.

“Unfortunately, not all of the students are using the program, so their students don’t understand or know or feel empowered to speak up if they know something is going on,” Janecek said.

Janecek said 57 schools in all of Tennessee use their training program.

There are 57 schools in Davidson County alone.

“Does Erin’s Law apply to private schools?” News 4 asked.

“Private schools are scared to implement, sometimes, curriculum that may be different than what they are known for,” Janecek said.

Tennessee also has a mandatory reporting law that simply states if you suspect abuse or are told about it, you must report it.

Last year, a former Tennessee high school basketball coach was charged with failing to report sex abuse. Those charges were later dropped.

Click here for more information on the programs offered by the Sexual Assault Center.

You can call the crisis and support line at 1-800-879-1999.

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