Protect Our Students is a FREE, online professional development training for NC school personnel on child sexual abuse and sex trafficking. The training module was designed to comply with the school personnel training requirement in NC Law 2019-245 (S199). The training is also available at no cost to the general public. Districts, schools, organizations and individuals may register for access. The training is formatted for self-paced e-learning and includes a certificate of completion and course participation tracking. An alternate version of the module is available that is useful for review purposes, group presentation and independent learners. The alternate version does not track participation or include a certificate of completion.
School employees do NOT need to register if they have been directed by their school to complete the training. Instead, contact your administration for direct password access.
LEARN ABOUT THE MANDATE IN NC LAW 2019-245 (S199)
Child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program requirements
NC public and charter schools are now required by law to adopt and implement a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program for school personnel. See question and answer section below for a brief overview of the new law. (Quotations below are taken directly from NC Law 2019-245.) View the full wording of NC Law 2019-245. (See highlighted sections for full details regarding the required training.)
Who is required to implement a sexual abuse training program?
North Carolina’s public-school districts, charter schools, regional schools and UNC laboratory schools.
Which school personnel need to be trained?
Kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers, instructional support personnel, principals and assistant principals. Additional school employees who work directly with students may receive the training at the discretion of the employing entity.
What are the basic requirements of the training program?
“Each employing entity shall adopt and implement a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program ... that provides education and awareness training related to child sexual abuse and sex trafficking ... All school personnel who work with students in grades kindergarten through 12 shall receive two hours of training ... in even-numbered years beginning in 2020.”
The training must include (but is not limited to) the following topics:
“Best practices from the field of prevention”
“Grooming process of sexual predators”
“The warning signs of sexual abuse and sex trafficking”
“How to intervene when sexual abuse or sex trafficking is suspected or disclosed”
“Legal responsibilities for reporting sexual abuse or sex trafficking”
“Available resources for assistance”
The training may be provided by:
“Local nongovernmental organizations with expertise in these areas”
“Local law enforcement officers”
“Officers of the court”
When must the training program begin and how often is it required?
Adoption and implementation were required by January 1, 2020. Training for school personnel is required for the 2020-2021 school year. All school personnel must receive the training in even numbered years beginning in 2020.
Can anyone be liable for civil damages as a result of implementation of the training program?
“No entity required to adopt a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program ... or its members, employees, designees, agents, or volunteers, shall be liable in civil damages to any party for any loss or damage caused by any act or omission relating to the provision of, participation in, or implementation of any component of a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program required by this section, unless that act or omission amounts to gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose any specific duty of care or standard of care on an entity required to adopt a child sexual abuse and sex trafficking training program ...”
Session Law 2019-245 (Senate Bill 199)
See highlighted sections of Session Law 2019-245 for full details regarding the required training.
OVERVIEW OF TOPICS COVERED IN PROTECT OUR STUDENTS
Sexual Abuse and Trafficking Defined
The training defines terms related to sexual abuse and sex trafficking and covers NC legal definitions. Various types of child sexual abuse are addressed, including child on child sexual abuse and educator sexual misconduct. Relevant statistics are included.
Predators and the Grooming Process
Protect Our Students addresses the wide variation in who an offender might be. The training covers common techniques predators use to manipulate minors and the adults in their lives. Stages in the grooming process are explained. The grooming process common to sex trafficking is addressed.
Best Practices from the Field of Prevention
The training includes those practices currently considered most effective in child sexual abuse prevention and response. The need for a comprehensive approach to prevention and the role of school employees in this process is covered.
Risk Factors, Warning Signs & Red Flags
Warning signs of sexual abuse and sex trafficking will be presented, including those most evident to educators.
How to Respond to Sexual Abuse
Protect Our Students addresses how to intervene when sexual abuse or trafficking is disclosed, suspected or witnessed. This includes topics such as encouraging disclosures, following pre-established policies/protocols and specific steps that can be taken.
The responsibility for NC educators to report sexual abuse including sex trafficking according to the newly updated mandatory reporting law is addressed.
Resources for Assistance
The training provides information on national and local resources where help is available for victims of sexual abuse and sex trafficking.