How to handle sexual harassment allegations

Newton Public Schools (NPS) will be conducting a “sexual harassment awareness” training for teachers.

The training will take place on Monday and Tuesday from 9am to 2pm.

The new policy comes after the school district announced that it was conducting a sexual harassment awareness training for all staff. 

On Tuesday, Superintendent Tom Condon said he had spoken with parents of students who were sexually harassed and was working to identify ways to prevent the behaviour from happening again.

The NPS will not be providing a response to the sexual harassment training at this time, but is seeking community input on how best to implement it, he said.

The school district said it is a matter for its staff to determine what steps they should take.

“We want to be mindful that it is our responsibility to ensure our students are safe and we are working to do that,” Mr Condon told ABC Radio New Zealand.

The policy comes as Mr Cordon announced plans to increase the number of sexual harassment prevention training for staff, with staff training on the role of survivors and a plan to have staff meet with their peers.

“As a school, I am committed to working with my staff to help prevent sexual harassment,” he said on Monday.

Mr Cordon also said the NPS would be conducting its own independent review into the handling of sexual misconduct allegations.

The Government has already announced $25 million in funding to help improve the NSP’s sexual harassment response, and is considering funding another $20 million over the next five years.