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Memorandum of Understanding: 20-Minutes-to…Trained

A Web-Based Sexual Misconduct Training Series.

Description:

This 20-Minutes-to…Trained video module explores Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between a school, district, or institution and partners such as local law enforcement, community agencies, dual enrollment partners, and more. ATIXA experts Brett and Dan outline the purposes of MOUs before discussing key considerations in developing, implementing, and assessing the effectiveness of MOUs. MOUs can help smooth collaboration and communication in stressful situations or emergencies, and this topic is a great opportunity to learn more about how to design or improve MOUs at your school, district, or institution.

Preview clip:

Transcript:

Dan Fotoples, J.D., M.A.(Director, Content Development, TNG): Establishing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) can be time-consuming, especially if you’re trying to establish an MOU with many different people. We talk a lot about how it clarifies expectations with the police, mainly jurisdictional concerns, but also dual enrollment. We see on our listserv several people with dual enrollment discussing something that happened with one of those students. Am I supposed to take it at the university, or am I supposed to kick it back to the district – no one ever has a good answer. It’s hard if you don’t have an MOU to figure out who you’re supposed to contact or if they will even pick up the phone and talk to you. So, establishing those expectations around jurisdiction is one of the key points.  

Brett A. Sokolow, J.D. (Chair: TNG Board of Directors; ATIXA Advisory Board):  I would do that through information sharing. We want to make sure that we’ve ironed out in advance what kind of evidence sharing is going to happen, what kind of limitations are in place, investigations and outcomes, process participation, and oftentimes, you’re working with multiple parties. I was negotiating an MOU with a law enforcement agency in Pennsylvania, and at one point, I ran into some resistance to sharing information. I said, “Why don’t we add the local prosecutor’s Commonwealth’s attorney’s office to the conversation to see if we can massage this a little bit,” and, as it turned out, through some three-party dialogue rather than just us and the police agency.

We’re able to come to a greater understanding of flexibility and share that we’re okay with the prosecutor whom the police weren’t sure they could speak to. It’s important to ensure all the correct stakeholders are at the table when you walk through and establish the parameters, not just on information sharing but also collaboration.

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