Lawrence Academy Reporting Protocols
Nothing is more important than providing a healthy and safe environment in which our students can learn, live and grow. To that end, Lawrence Academy regularly assesses and refines the policies and programs that protect our students. In order to remove as many barriers as possible from reporting sexual and other forms of misconduct and bringing any such concerns to light promptly, Lawrence Academy offers a variety of methods for making a report. Before describing our existing programs and procedures, any person with a time-sensitive safety concern should use whatever form of report or contact is most readily available and applicable, including law enforcement and 911. Concerned parties are encouraged to access any available option in order to protect personal safety, bring forward a concern, and initiate a response.
Direct Reporting Options
Information about how to report concerns directly to LA is provided in the Omnibus Lucet, our handbook for students and parents. Students wishing to report an incident of sexual misconduct or concern over the possibility of such an incident are advised in our handbook to "speak to a trusted adult at home or at school, (including) members of the Health Center, members of the Intervention Team (I Team), members of the student life department or contact your local police department." The school has a clearly defined set of procedures involving both internal and external responses when a report involving potential sexual misconduct occurs. In so doing, we want to fulfill not only our legal and reporting obligations but our moral obligation as educators and caretakers. Students, parents, alumni, or any other involved party may also bring concerns directly to any of the following individuals designated by the Board of Trustees to facilitate reporting:
Head of School Dan Scheibe (email@example.com),
Assistant Head of School Libby Margraf (firstname.lastname@example.org),
President, Jason Saghir (email@example.com),
or Trustee Karen Brandvold (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If a member of the community is more comfortable making a report through a third party (anonymous or not), reports about sexual misconduct, as well as concerns about student, workplace, financial and other matters may now be reported through Ethics Point, an interactive online website hosted by NAVEX Global. Ethics Point is a reliable, third-party provider used by many schools, colleges and commercial businesses to receive and assess misconduct reports. LA has engaged NAVEX to maintain an Ethics Point website exclusively for LA. You can view the website through this link:
While we prefer to learn about potential misconduct by speaking or corresponding directly with those involved, we recognize that sometimes people may be reluctant to come forward in that way because of privacy or other concerns. Through Ethics Point, LA now provides a direct, online means of reporting potential misconduct confidentially, with the option of either anonymous or attributed reporting. The online reporting options span a diverse range of possible concerns from student to employee misconduct and from financial improprieties to harassment and assault. The service is designed to be easily navigable and self-guiding. Please contact NAVEX or LA if you have any difficulties using this service.
Once a report is received from Ethics Point, the school determines whether to investigate the matter internally or whether an external entity (such as law enforcement or an outside consultant) should be involved. In addition, the school determines whether the matter must be reported to government or law enforcement agencies consistent with the school's policies and legal obligations. We expect Ethics Point to improve significantly our capabilities to identify and respond effectively to concerns raised by our community members.
Please note that Ethics Point and the reporting channels described above are not means for reporting emergency situations: if a student or any other member of the community believes that there is an immediate threat of harm, whether involving sexual misconduct or any other threat to personal safety, the first call should be to 911.
Local Law Enforcement
Having positive, effective working relationships with local law enforcement is a critical component of a school's health and safety plan. Lawrence Academy is fortunate to have a close working relationship with local public safety officials. To further clarify and support such relationships with LA, we have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Groton Police Department and the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office to clarify the proper protocols for responding to various types of reported misconduct. These agreements and relationships have been established by both public and private schools in the interests of both transparency and effective practice.
You can read the MOU here.