NewsLocal NewsYour Voice


Lone Jack parents, district, discuss changes to sexual abuse prevention program

Posted: 7:10 PM, Nov 17, 2023
Updated: 2023-11-17 20:41:46-05
Lone Jack parent

LONE JACK, Mo. — Some parents in the Lone Jack School District said they’re concerned the sexual abuse prevention training their children received wasn’t age appropriate, due to inappropriate and graphic examples and stories.

The district said it’s welcoming concerns but that sexual abuse prevention training is critical (see document below).

VOICE FOR EVERYONE | Share your voice with KSHB 41’s Elyse Schoenig

According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, school districts have to include the following in their training:

1. instruction providing students with the knowledge and tools to recognize sexual abuse,
2. instruction providing students with the knowledge and tools to report an incident of sexual abuse,
3. actions that a student who is a victim of sexual abuse could take to obtain assistance and intervention, and
4. available resources for students affected by sexual abuse.

“Very, very repulsive, and vulgar detail. He (my son) gave me the examples that were given to him in a state mandated, sexual harassment class," district parent Leslie Miller said.

The district sent out a letter to parents, saying an outside group called Country Crossroads Counseling, would be presenting the training. The letter said parents could opt out.

Lone Jack Letter No 1.jpg

“And for a child in my opinion to say, I don’t feel comfortable telling you what I’ve learned today, that’s a problem," Miller said.

Miller said she reached out to the district after her 12-year-old son came home uncomfortable and upset. District Superintendent Kathy Butler said parent’s concerns are important, which is why they sent out another letter to address those concerns after the training.

Lone Jack Letter No 2.jpg

“We feel like and we hope we have either personally or on the phone or through email connected with 100% of the parents who have contacted us with concerns, trying to make sure we hear everything they say," she said. “We welcome the questions and concerns, I’d much rather have the conversation so that I know how to move forward in a better way.”

Butler said she hopes families continue to understand the importance of students having all kinds of safety training.

“The sexual harassment and abuse curriculum is, I think, critical for students. It’s important for students to be part of that, we do believe it helps them in many ways," Butler said.

Now, Miller said she and other parents want accountability.

“I have to ask all those questions, I want the slide show, I want the play-by-play of what’s being said to my kids," Miller said.

And Superintendent Butler said every conversation is an important part of what’s next.

“The next steps are certainly bringing our professionals as well as community and parent members together so that we can review all safety curriculum and what we’re going to do next with that and how we present it in the future," Butler said.

KSHB 41 also reached out to Country Crossroads Counseling, the group that presented the training, for a statement:

"Country Crossroads Counseling has recently been made aware of a situation involving a Sexual Abuse and Harassment presentation, which school districts are required to give by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Parents were sent emails before the presentation, notifying of the upcoming Sexual Abuse and Harassment presentation. Parents could opt out if they didn't want their child to attend the presentation. The presentation is within the standards set forth by the state.

Country Crossroads Counseling is a firm believer in Mental Health Education for students about tough subjects like sexual abuse and suicide. While some may deny these topics are needed in their community, the sad fact is these presentations are necessary to help the children that are silently struggling with these serious issues."