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2. Jesuit Schools are committed to creating a Safe and Healthy Environment for all [49]

  1. Our schools must promote and guarantee environments free from any form of abuse.
  2. Though Pope Francis has brought much life and vitality to the Catholic Church, the deep wounds of clerical sexual abuse remain painfully real for the victims, their families and indeed for all members of the Church. The lives of these victims have been forever scarred by this betrayal. The actions of perpetrators and then the inaction or deception by a number of Church leaders have seriously damaged the credibility of the Church. A number of our Jesuit schools have had to face these terrible sins committed against their own students in their own institutions.
  3. So, it is essential that all educators and administrators in Jesuit schools create safe and healthy environments free of any form of abuse: sexual, physical, psychological, or emotional. This includes inappropriate relationships with adults and bullying among peers.
  4. All Jesuit schools should have:
  5. a. Guidelines that describe proper ethical and professional conduct for all who serve in our schools, whether they be Jesuits, employees or volunteers;
  6. b. Systematic training and ongoing formation programs for all members of the school community that inculcate respectful ways of relating to others, identify inappropriate behaviors, and explain how to confront abusive people and situations;
  7. c. Protocols that respond vigorously to every allegation of abuse.

Exercise 20. For discernment:

  1. How do you assess this challenge?
  2. What are the most significant obstacles?
  3. How can we adapt this challenge for all Jesuit schools so that it reflects the greater good?
  4. In this context, what has your educational apostolate done?
  5. What should your educational apostolate be doing?

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