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2009 – DCPS entered into a partnership with the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe) and various private partners to distribute educational materials on Internet safety to all public schools. The material includes a picture book and accompanying DVD suitable for grades 1-6, as well as activity sheets and resources to encourage classroom discussion.
The District of Columbia Public Schools’ (DCPS) website contains clear guidelines for students on its CIPA-compliant acceptable use policy. Students and their parents must sign the policy before they can access the school network. The policy includes the use of internet filtering technology to block access to obscene, pornographic or harmful images, and allows DCPS to supervise and monitor students’ online activities.
2011 – DCPS received a $750,000 STEM education grant from Google which allowed the department to create a department focusing exclusively on blended learning. The department plays a supportive role to schools, encouraging transitions to blended learning and giving schools freedom to select initiatives suited to their needs.
2012 – DCPS published its strategic plan, “A Capital Commitment,” which is to run through 2017. The goals of the plan are improving achievement rates, investing in struggling schools, increasing graduation rates, improving satisfaction and boosting enrollment. Under this strategy, low-performing schools will be offered grants to make targeted technology investments; schools will leverage technology to help students set goals for high school, graduation and beyond; and schools will offer safe, modern facilities with current technology.
Also in 2012, DCPS officials announced that one D.C. middle school would adopt a blended learning model, with half of its academic programming delivered through online courses.
The same year, the D.C. City Council passed the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2012, requiring all D.C. agencies, grantees and educational institutions serving young people to adopt a bullying prevention policy. It also created the Mayor’s Task Force on Bullying Prevention, tasked with assisting D.C. agencies in these efforts and developing a model policy.
2013 – DCPS published a report on its implementation of blending learning models, which is a combination of traditional and virtual learning approaches. It lists and describes the blending learning programs in D.C. schools thus far.
The CityBridge Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund received a $1 million, three-year grant from Microsoft to recruit DCPS and DC public charter school teachers to implement blended learning efforts in their schools. It provided a year of training to teachers to this end.
Also in 2013, DCPS released its bullying prevention policy. The policy, in accordance with D.C. law, includes definitions of bullying, a code of conduct, and prevention, intervention, investigation and training policies. The document includes definitions of cyberbullying and electronic communications.
2014 – Individual schools were allocated $4.4 million in local funds to purchase new technology, including computers and smart boards, at their discretion. The funding also included professional development for teachers to integrate classroom technology.
The same year, two elementary schools fully integrated technology into instruction. Each classroom in the two schools received eight new computers, allowing teachers to work with small groups while another group of students work on the computers.
Also in 2014, DCPS replaced its testing system with new computer-based assessments from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.
Child and Family Services Agency
This agency provides resources for kids and teenagers in the foster care system, as well as a reporting outlet for child abuse and neglect. The website also has information for mandatory reporters of abuse.
The foundation invests in D.C. schools, with the goal of improving students’ social mobility. Its Breakthrough Schools: DC project funds schools to use technology, and rethink content delivery and mastery methods to redesign educational models.
DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The coalition is a resource for adults and children who experience domestic violence in D.C. It offers support services, participates in lobbying efforts, provides training and raises awareness of domestic violence in the city. It also provides information on computer and internet safety for those experiencing abuse.
DC Public Charter School Board
The board oversees public charter schools in the city, which are run by nonprofits but funded by local government. There were 114 public charter schools in D.C. as of 2016.
DC Public Education Fund
This organization has fundraised more than $100 million to support improved learning outcomes and opportunities within the DCPS system.
DC Public Library
The library’s website includes online safety tips for children and live online tutoring for homework help. The library provides computer training classes for adults.
DC Rape Crisis Center
The center advocates for survivors through therapy, training, assistance, community education and public policy initiatives. Its website has specific resources on childhood sexual abuse.
District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS)
DCPS works toward providing quality education for all students regardless of their backgrounds. In terms of utilizing technology, the department emphasizes the use of blended learning models for individualized learning.
Internet Society, Greater Washington DC Chapter
This nonprofit group provides leadership on internet-related standards, education and policy issues in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It hosts events and discussions to further these goals.
Metropolitan Police Department
The city’s police department has a Youth and Family Services Division, which focuses on child abuse, child seuxal exploitation and online crimes against children. It also has a Sexual Assault Unit and provides a searchable local sex offender registry.
NOVA-DC ICAC Task Force
The Northern Virginia – Washington DC Crimes Against Children Task Force is a group comprised of 23 local, state and federal agencies, working to combat crimes against children committed by online predators. In addition to tracing and bringing to justice those who perpetrate crimes against children, the task force seeks to educate parents, teens and children on Internet safety.
Safe Shores – The DC Children’s Advocacy Center
This nonprofit supports and works directly with child victims of sexual and physical abuse. It coordinates with medical and mental health professionals, social services providers, victim advocates and law enforcement to reduce trauma and help child victims heal.
Youth Law Fair
Sponsored by the D.C. Bar Association and the Superior Court of D.C., this annual event gives high school students hands-on, education experience with laws regarding issues like sexting and bullying.
Blended Learning in DC Public Schools: How One District is Reinventing its Classrooms (2014)D.K. Lautzenheiser, T. Hochleitner
This report examines blended learning initiatives in D.C., with a focus on schools in the city's Southeast quadrant specifically.
This section contains details of the city’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
The age of consent in D.C. is 16 years old.
- DC ST Chapter 40. Sex Offender Registration. Requires convicted sex offenders living, working or attending school in the District of Columbia to register with the authorities upon conviction; the registration remains in place until the end of his/her sentence or unconditional release. The penalty for failing to register is a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 180 days. Subsequent convictions for failing to register carry a prison sentence of no more than five years and/or a fine of up to $12,500.
- DC ST § 22-401. Assault with Intent to Kill, Rob, or Poison, or to Commit First Degree Sexual Abuse, Second Degree Sexual Abuse or Child Sexual Abuse. This section states that anyone convicted of any assault with intent to commit child sexual abuse is liable to imprisonment for between two and 15 years.
- DC ST § 22-1312. Lewd, Indecent or Obscene Acts. This section states that anyone who publicly indecently or in an obscene manner exposes his/her genitals or anus, engages in masturbation or in a sexual act is guilty of a misdemeanor. It is also unlawful to make an obscene or indecent sexual proposal to a minor. The offense is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 90 days.
- DC ST § 22-1834. Sex Trafficking of Children. Defines the offense as knowingly, or with reckless disregard to the minor’s age, recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining or maintaining by any means a minor for the purposes of engaging the victim in a commercial sexual act. Imposes the penalty for the crime of sex trafficking of children at imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $50,000. Where the victim was held for more than 180 days, the penalty will increase to up to 30 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $75,000. An attempt to commit sex trafficking of children is punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $25,000.
- DC ST § 22-2201. Certain Obscene Activities and Conduct Declared Unlawful; Definitions; Penalties; Affirmative Defenses; Exception. Defines the offense as (among other definitions) to knowingly sell, possess, distribute any obscene, indecent or filthy writing, picture, recording or other representation. This section specifically states that it is unlawful to sell, deliver, distribute etc. such obscene material to a minor under 17 years of age. Violations of this section may lead to a fine of $1,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than 180 days. Subsequent convictions carry a fine of between $1,000 and $12,500 and/or a term of imprisonment of between six months and three years.
- DC ST § 22-2704. Abducting or Enticing Child from His or Her Home for Purposes of Prostitution; Harboring Such Child. This Section states that it is a felony to persuade, entice or forcibly abduct a child under the age of 18 from his/her home, or to secrete or harbor such child, for the purposes of prostitution. The offense is punishable by imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
- DC ST § 22-2705. Pandering; Inducing or Compelling an Individual to Engage in Prostitution. States, among other things, that anyone who places or causes, induces, entices, procures any other person to engage in prostitution or reside or remain in a house of prostitution, is guilty of a felony and liable to imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine not exceeding $12,500. Where the victim is a minor under the age of 18, the penalty will increase to a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
- DC ST § 22-2707. Procuring; Receiving Money or Other Valuable Thing for Arranging Assignation. Imposes a penalty of imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $50,000 for anyone who receives any money or other valuables for arranging or causing a minor under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution or a sexual act.
- DC ST § 22-3008. First Degree Child Sexual Abuse. The offense is defined as when the perpetrator, who is at least four years older than the victim, engages in a sexual act with a child. It is deemed to be a Class A felony and the maximum sentence is life imprisonment, in addition to a fine of up to $125,000.
- DC ST § 22-3009. Second Degree Child Sexual Abuse. States that it is a crime to engage in sexual contact with a child, where the offender is at least four years older than the victim. The penalty for this is up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000.
- DC ST § 22-3009.01. First Degree Sexual Abuse of a Minor. Where a person over the age of 18 is engaged in a significant relationship with a minor and they engage in a sexual act with them they may be sentenced to up to 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $37,500.
- DC ST § 22-3009.02. Second Degree Sexual Abuse of a Minor. Where a person over the age of 18 is engaged in a significant relationship with a minor and they engage in sexual contact with them they may be sentenced to up to seven and a half years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
- DC ST § 22-3009.03. First Degree Sexual Abuse of a Secondary Education Student. A teacher, counselor, principal, coach or other person of authority in a secondary school who engages in a sexual act with a student under the age of 20 years enrolled in that school or school system, or causes that student to engage in a sexual act, is liable to 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
- DC ST § 22-3009.04. Second Degree Sexual Abuse of a Secondary Education Student. A teacher, counselor, principal, coach or other person of authority in a secondary school who engages in sexual conduct with a student under the age of 20 years enrolled in that school or school system, or causes that student to engage in sexual conduct, shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years and/or fined up to $12,500.
- DC ST § 22-3010. Enticing a Child. Defines the offense of taking a child or minor to a place for the purposes of committing an offense set forth in §§ 22-3002 to 22-3006 and §§ 22-3008 to 22-3009.2, stipulating that the offender is at least four years older than the victim. It is also an offense to seduce, allure, entice, persuade, or convince a child or minor to engage in a sexual act or contact. The maximum prison sentence is five years and/or a fine of up to $12,500. The section also states that anyone who, being at least four years older than the victim, pretends to be a child and thereby attempts to commit any of the above is guilty of the same offense.
- DC ST § 22-3010.01. Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse of a Child or Minor. Defines the offense as when someone who is over 18 years of age and at least four years older than the child, or someone over the age of 18 who is in a relationship with a minor, engages in sexually suggestive conduct with a minor or child. The penalty for this crime is a maximum of 180 days’ imprisonment and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.
- DC ST § 22-3010.02. Arranging for a Sexual Contact with a Real or Fictitious Child. States that anyone who arranges to engage in a sexual act or sexual contact with a person who is or is represented to be a child at least four years younger than the offender, is guilty of an offense. It is also unlawful to arrange for another person to engage in such conduct with a child who is at least four years younger. The penalty for this offense is imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of up to $12,500.
- DC ST § 22–3011. Defenses to Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Abuse of a Minor. Neither mistake of age nor consent is a defense to prosecution under § 22–3008 to 22–3010.01 prosecuted alone or in conjunction with charges under § 22–3018.
- DC ST § 22-3018. Attempts to Commit Sexual Offenses. This section states that anyone who attempts to commit an offense under this subchapter will be liable to imprisonment for up to 15 years where the maximum penalty is life imprisonment, or for up to half of the maximum prison sentence prescribed for the offense. The criminal might also be subject to a fine of up to half of the original amount subscribed.
- DC ST § 22-3020. Aggravating Circumstances. A person guilty of an offense under this subchapter may receive a penalty up to one and a half times the prescribed maximum penalty and a sentence of more than 30 years’ imprisonment, including life imprisonment, for first degree sexual abuse or first degree child sexual abuse if the victim was under 12 years old, the victim was under 18 years old and the actor had a significant relationship with the victim, or the defendant is guilty of committing sex offenses against two or more victims, among other aggravating circumstances.
- DC ST § 22-3020.51 - 3020.55. Reporting Requirements in Child Sexual Abuse Offense Cases. A person who knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, that a child is a victim of sexual abuse must immediately report such knowledge or belief to the police. A person who is or has been a victim of sexual abuse is not required to report if the alleged perpetrator is also his/her abuser. Exceptions to reporting requirements apply to lawyers when knowledge of abuse arises solely in the course of representing a client, and for religious officials when told of abuse in confidence. Additionally, survivors of domestic violence may use such domestic violence as a defense to his/her failure to report. A person who fails to report is subject to a civil fine of $300.
- DC ST § 22-3101 - 3104. Sexual Performance of a Minor. Defines the offense of using a minor in a sexual performance, promoting a sexual performance by a minor, or possessing or transmitting a sexual performance of a minor. A first offense carries a penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000 and subsequent offenses carry a prison term of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $50,000.
- DC ST § 22-3132 - 3135. This section defines, among other things, the term “any device” as electronic, mechanical, digital or any other equipment, including a computer. The term “any means” includes the use of email or a website. It defines the offense of engaging in a course of conduct directed at one person with the intent that they are led to fear for their safety, to suffer emotional distress, or to feel seriously alarmed, disturbed or frightened. The penalty for stalking is a fine of up to $2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment not to exceed 12 months. However, where the victim is under 18 and the offender is more than four years older, the sentence increases to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $12,500.
- DC ST § 22-3531. Voyeurism. It is defined as a crime for a person to record or view any person using a bathroom, totally or partially unclothed, or engaging in sexual activity. The section includes the use of electronic devices. This carries a maximum sentence of one year’s imprisonment and/or a fine up to $2,500. Where this material is disseminated, the sentence increases to five years’ imprisonment and/or the fine to $12,500.