New Incident Reporting System at CRLS in Wake of Walkout

A new incident reporting system is in development at CRLS.

Cambridge Public Schools Website

A new incident reporting system is in development at CRLS.

Ruri Duffy, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Three months ago, CRLS students participated in a school-wide walkout in an effort to bring attention to instances of sexual harrassment within the school, and awareness to flaws in current school policies. Lasting over two hours, the walkout gave a platform for students to share experiences, and called for effective, immediate, and comprehensive changes to school policies surrounding incident reporting.

Criticism of the school administration’s response to the walkout came swiftly, and the struggle for substantial change has not halted since then. Now, students at CRLS and across Cambridge Public Schools can witness some of the first changes in the system.

Previous incident reporting systems—a crucial tool for students to disclose occurrences of sexual harrassment, assault, or other incidents—consisted of a Google Form and little else in the way of solutions. Without any concrete promise of anonymity or follow-up to reports, little could be said for its effectiveness. While it has been an issue within Cambridge Public Schools for a long time, November’s walkout and the proceeding student advocacy from students, school groups, and outside organizations highlighted its urgency.

The process of reworking the system, while arduous, was a priority.”

One of these organizations is Title IX Aurelia Advocates (TIAA), who have been working with the School Committee and school administration to create the new reporting system. Molly Stone-Peterson ’22 from TIAA told the Register Forum about the details of the new system, saying it will “provide students with the option to report completely anonymously ” using a soft-ware called Speakfully, a report management plat- form. According to Stone-Peterson, the reports “also send a copy of the report to the Title IX Coordinator(s) at the Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging to ensure reports are followed up on quickly, in a way that both helps students and is legally compliant.”

The process of reworking the system, while arduous, was a priority. TIAA members Abigail Price ’22 and Morgan Nerich ’22 shared their goals with the Register Forum of creating a tool that was “clear, straightforward, accessible” and “as trauma informed as possible.” In the coming months, the school district can expect some changes. Morgan Nerich warned, “By implementing this system we, and the district, do expect the number of reports to increase within the near future. As scary as that may sound, it is actually a good thing because that means the new system works in the way we intended it to.”

Even still, their work is not done. Continued partnership between the TIAA and the Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (OEIB), as well as further changes like the creation of an online database for continued monitoring of reports and connections made between CPS schools, are still to come.

The goal of this new system is for people to utilize it in a constructive way that encourages justice, healing, and meaningful change.”

For CRLS students looking to get involved in the current and coming changes, TIAA member Nasra Samater ’22 encourages “being involved in the conversion, whether that’s attending clubs that align with your thinking or even taking on a challenge head on.” The goal of this new system is for people to utilize it in a constructive way that encourages justice, healing, and meaningful change at the hands of both students and administrators. Hopefully, this new system signifies just the beginning of coming change.

This piece also appears in our March 2022 print edition.