Central to Salesianum's mission of educating the whole person, in the tradition of St. Francis de Sales, is the protection of all students and young people who study, perform, compete, pray, and grow in the various academic and co-curricular programs the school offers. All adults who minister as either employees or volunteers have been certified to work among young people through Praesidium, a Texas-based independent national leader in abuse risk management. This agency requires compliance with 25 standards, from reporting and investigation of abuse allegations to education and background screening of members. Below are some key steps Salesianum has taken to ensures student safety:
- All Salesianum employees undergo frequent and extensive background checks.
- Volunteers with direct access to students are also subject to background checks and investigations of criminal record.
- Strict policies are in place for reporting suspected abuse and train employees to recognize the signs of abuse in victims and the hallmarks of grooming and predatory behavior exhibited by abusers.
- Salesianum’s Dean of Students is a former law enforcement officer and directly supervises the Praesidium accreditation process, which includes ongoing training for faculty, staff, Oblates, students, and volunteers.
- The Board of Trustees has created a School Safety Committee which oversees our Praesidium accreditation and provides guidance on any questions regarding student safety. The committee is chaired by Salesianum Trustee, Brendan O’Neill, Chief Defender for the State of DE, and also includes a DE Deputy Attorney General and a FBI Special Agent.
Procedures for employees are important but supporting a school culture where students and teachers are comfortable seeking help or reporting suspicions is paramount. Our guidance department has added staff and programming focused on the many facets of wellness. Mental health counseling is available on campus and faculty and staff is regularly trained to spot signs of abuse, depression, and anxiety and routinely refer students for treatment. Event programming and schedules are structured to help students avoid vulnerable situations and promote a safe and transparent environment.
Salesianum School is fully accredited by Praesidium and continues to be in full compliance with these standards. For additional information or to report an incident of concern, please contact the Dean of Students, Mr. Pat Stepek, (302) 356-2643 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.