The Mineral County School District issued a news release Monday responding to a parent’s allegations of multiple sexual assaults at Hawthorne Elementary School.
The release confirmed parts of the parent’s allegations, but also said the versions of events published in last week’s Independent-News “is not supported by the principal’s investigation,” and that two students were involved in the incident.
The release also states staff was informed of the nature of the incident, and expresses several times that the district is concerned for the well being of the students.
“Mineral County School District is concerned with the safety and confidentiality of all students in our district and we continue to strive to ensure a safe and respectful learning environment,” the release states.
The district is taking a multipronged approach to ensuring student safety, the release states.
The first prong is training teachers and other educators with the Nevada-sponsored Positive Behavior Strategies, a district wide system for encouraging good behavior among students with positive reinforcement.
The district started training educators to use the standard in August, and they receive frequent refresher courses.
“One of the fundamental elements involved in our unified staff PBS efforts includes training students to respect each other’s personal space,” the release states. “Re-teaching of PBS expectations is on-going on a monthly basis to provide reinforcement for our behavioral expectations.”
Additionally 30 educators, including the “vast majority” of elementary school teachers in the district, have been trained in SPARK classroom management strategies, the release states. The SPARK classroom management training is a day-long course.
“Using the SPARK training, teachers seek to provide an effective, pro-active, positive approach to student management,” the release states. “Those staff members who have not yet participated in this training will have the opportunity to do so in the near future.”
But the teachers aren’t the only ones being trained.
“Our elementary counselor meets weekly with each class to teach social skills curriculum, including problem-solving, empathy, and respectful interpersonal behaviors,” the release states. “Our principal and counselor at Hawthorne Elementary School have been working together to develop a focused training for students on respecting each other’s space and reporting to adults when other students fail to meet this expectation.”
The release does not say if any new measures will be taken to ensure student safety.