IG Announces DoD School Sex Assault Investigation

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

The Defense Department Inspector General has started an inquiry into how the Pentagon's school system handles student misconduct, according to an announcement issued Friday.

The inquiry, ordered in a June 5 report from the Senate Armed Services Committee, will look at whether "the DoD and DoD Education Activity (DoDEA) have adequate policies and procedures to respond to incidents of serious student misconduct including sexual assault and sexual harassment," the announcement states. "We will also evaluate the Department and referrals to DoD law enforcement organizations, as well as referrals to military and civilian child advocacy and health services."

The investigation comes after a series of news stories over the last several years highlighting cases of apparent student-on-student sexual assault in the system's schools met by little or no action from school or Pentagon officials.

"It is disturbing to learn that the DoD's policies and procedures may prevent efforts to help child victims of misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, and to rehabilitate and hold child offenders accountable," the Senate conference report states.

"Therefore, the committee directs the Department of Defense Inspector General to conduct a comprehensive assessment of DoD's and DODEA's policies and procedures regarding misconduct, including sexual misconduct, to help child victims of misconduct and to rehabilitate child offenders, including whether the Department took corrective actions to hold offenders accountable when appropriate," the report continues.

The report is due to the committee by Dec. 1.

"This evaluation will include, but is not limited to, site visits, interviews, documentation and database reviews pertaining to serious student misconduct on military installations," the IG announcement says.

-- Amy Bushatz can be reached at amy.bushatz@military.com.

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