As part of its commitment to student safety across its vast organization, Kamehameha Schools is providing a series of sessions on preventing sexual misconduct, which have been attended by more than 2,600 employees across the state thus far, to increase awareness by staff and faculty.
Over the past three months, KS held 24 training sessions, and four more are scheduled throughout May in West Hawai‘i, on the Kapālama campus and at Kawaiaha‘o Plaza. The sessions were offered at KS campuses and centralized sites, and were facilitated by Dr. Alex Bivens of the Misconduct Prevention Institute, who has worked in school-based behavioral health as a licensed clinical psychologist for the past 18 years.
“My goal in life is to put myself out of business so we never have to do these training sessions again,” said Bivens. “I want akamai people looking at behaviors with eyes wide open, and to make it easier to start a conversation without feeling uncomfortable. Adults make all the difference in shaping the lives of keiki.”
Bivens explained that the overarching goal of the sexual abuse awareness training sessions is to help KS employees protect keiki, colleagues, the institution and themselves. Topics covered in the two-hour training sessions include:
The training sessions reached an array of employees, from staff at Kawaiaha‘o Plaza and across the state, to campus personnel including kumu and administrators as well as dining hall staff, security team members and representatives from the Athletic Department.
“One of the training elements that resonated with me was about being a ‘Lone Ranger,’ because a lot of times we’re alone in the training room with student-athletes, and because we do a lot of hands-on work, and I need to remain aware of my environment,” said Jared Nihi, lead athletic trainer on the KS Kapālama campus.
“We’ve been trained since I was in college as far as being careful when addressing areas of sensitivity on the bodies of student-athletes, including pairing athletic trainers of the same gender with them whenever possible. This training helps to supplement that knowledge and understanding.”
Bivens has co-authored a number of articles published in behavioral science journals on topics ranging from personality assessment to depression, substance abuse and therapist behavior. He conducts training sessions across the state, and also serves as an expert witness in child sex assault cases.
“Dr. Bivens’ training session provides important reminders for all of us to be present and mindful in our work with keiki. Conducting the session with empathy, sincerity and self-deprecating humor really helped this important community member deliver these important messages to our team,” said Dr. Evan Reppun Beachy, a senior education consultant at KS.
The need for diligence and attention to student safety has been emphasized throughout KS’ work on its three campuses and in communities across the state, and is a priority from KS’ Board of Trustees, CEO Jack Wong and the ʻAha Kūlia leadership team.
More information about the training sessions and other safety-related initiatives is available via the KS student safety website.