Punahou has spent the past three years strengthening a critical program, which provides students and other members of the School community a standardized process for addressing essential student safety concerns.
Comprised of a cross section of Punahou administrators, faculty and staff, the Community Care Response Team (CCRT) coordinates the School’s response to allegations and incidents of sexual abuse, assault and misconduct. It also ensures that survivors receive care and support, and that proper reporting is made to law enforcement or other agencies.
Now in its third year, the CCRT handles any allegation of sexual misconduct involving students and employees, whether it is alleged to have occurred on or off campus. Overall, the program ensures accountability in the School’s response, says Academy Assistant Principal James Kakos, who leads the team. “The CCRT was created because the School was committed to building a clear and transparent process,” he said. “The CCRT makes sure that a standardized process is followed so that cases are handled the same way every time. We also have multiple reporting mechanisms for engaged bystanders, so that the right information gets to our student safety teams as quickly as possible.”
As part of the program, Punahou created a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week student safety helpline. “Anytime anyone has a concern about student safety, they can call this helpline and the report will get in the hands of the appropriate school employees for a response,” Kakos said.
The group follows a survivor-centered approach when a report is made. Survivors of sexual assault are offered advocacy and support through Community Care Liaisons (CCLs), who are also members of the CCRT. CCLs also connect survivors to appropriate external resources such as the Sex Abuse Treatment Center at Kapi‘olani Medical Center.
Through the CCRT, as well as various avenues of reporting, Punahou is continuing to build and promote a culture of safety and accountability, Kakos said. Kakos said the group’s charge aligns with Punahou’s commitment to student safety and well-being. “The value of addressing these issues openly has empowered survivors to safely come forward and receive a high level of care and support from our team,” Kakos said.
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