Title IX training prepares Guilford County Schools staff to tackle sexual assault prevention

Piedmont Triad News

GUILFORD, COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Making Guilford County Schools a safe place for all — that was the goal during the districts’ Title IX sexual assault training that staff members underwent this week.

It’s a training district staff has been participating in all year, but this week was the first in-person session they’ve had.

It’s being held at the GTCC Conference Center in Colfax from July 20-22.

GCS Interim Chief of Student Services Denise Patterson said this year’s focus is prevention.

“We want them to say the right things at the right time so it’s important that they know our expectations around that,” Patterson said.

Wednesday, dozens of staff members from Guilford County Schools sat in on a Title IX sexual assault workshop training. It’s part of the district’s effort to prevent assaults before they happen.

“We want our community to be a safe place, we want our community, our staff and students to feel safe,” Patterson said.

She said 90 percent of district staff members have undergone this training either virtually or in person.

“We want parents to know that we look at all concerns seriously and we do look into every matter. We want them to know that we have a process we adhere to,” Patterson said.

Wednesday, custodians participated — discussing how certain conversations among adults working in your students’ schools should be avoided and how to spot signs of comfortability.

They were given examples that have happened in this district and beyond to help them understand.

“If it’s something that they’ve heard or have encountered, or they don’t feel comfortable about, we share them some examples with our custodians and let them know some of the things and experiences that we’ve encountered,” Patterson said.

All staff members are expected to participate in the training.

It is something district leaders said is important to shift the culture and continue making students feel as safe as possible.

“It’s our culture of prevention and we want to make sure that all of our staff members 100 percent are informed,” Patterson said.

To ensure this effort continues, they were also holding classes for staff members to learn how to train their peers in these courses.

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