Katie Koestner, Executive Director of Campus Outreach Services,
at Trinity-Pawling School on April 29.
On Monday, April 29, Trinity-Pawling School welcomed Katie Koestner, an expert on sexual misconduct in schools, along with the Respect My Red Leadership Training Institute faculty to campus for an experiential training program designed for student leaders and school professionals. Koestner is the Executive Director of Campus Outreach Services, which she founded in 1994 to educate schools about best practices in the prevention of sexual misconduct, bullying, alcohol abuse, and other student safety issues.
“Katie Koestner brought top-notch co-presenters to discuss affirmative consent with the group, which gathered from twelve nearby schools,” said Amy Foster, Director of Gardiner Library and Learning Commons. “It was a truly compelling exercise that showed the crucial role we can be playing in educating our young men. Although we don’t have the daily issues a coed school faces, investing time and energy into this topic should be a top priority to help our students be responsible future adults, and I’d argue that an all-male environment is an ideal one to bring these topics to light.”
Several area schools were invited to join in the one-day institute at Trinity-Pawling, which focused on best practices to proactively address sexual misconduct. The leadership-training program featured interactive case studies that encouraged attendees to engage in discussions with colleagues and student peers. “Probably the biggest key that stuck out to me was that you always have to be mindful of what other people are comfortable with,” said Solomon Hess (Class of 2020). “Even if you’re comfortable with something as simple as a hug, ask the other party if they consent to it.”
The training and resources were presented by nationally known subject matter experts on law, policy, and communications and were presented to student and faculty groups separately. “The school administrators broke off to the Alumni Room where we focused more specifically on policies and procedures to be included in school documentation,” added Foster.
All participants worked on building the skills, knowledge, and ability to educate and impact their own school communities on respectful relationships and sexual misconduct. “It was a very powerful workshop,” said Laurie DelBalzo, Director of Human Resources. “It was great to watch the students fully participate and engage in the activities. The presenters in the administrator workshop provided participants with excellent suggestions and tools on how schools can improve and enhance their existing policies and procedures.”
Content provided by Trinity-Pawling School.