Cari Simon Featured in The Washington Post

Sexual violence and misconduct occurs among all ages. It is no longer strictly a “college” level issue, and cannot be treated as such.

While sexual assault has become a dominant topic on the nation’s college campuses in recent years, it has largely remained a hidden issue in elementary, middle and high schools.

Cari Simon of School Violence Law and The Fierberg National Law Group – an attorney who has represented sexual assault victims across the nation – tells The Washington Post:

“Colleges are now really starting to feel enough pressure that they know they have obligations. In the K-12 cases, I have seen a lot of complete incompetence, a complete lack of even knowing they have responsibilities.”

Now there are signs that the problem is receiving more attention, including a sharp rise in the number of federal civil rights complaints alleging that K-12 schools have mishandled reports of sexual violence.

“The Obama administration has taken an aggressive approach to enforcing the anti-discrimination law known as Title IX, which requires K-12 schools and colleges to guard against sexual harassment and sexual violence. Besides promptly investigating reports of sexual misconduct, schools also must take steps to prevent sexual violence and to remedy the damage done when sexual violence occurs. The law is based on the idea that children should be protected from hostile environments that make it impossible for them to fully participate in school.” The Washington Post