Sexual Intimacy

Students are asked to exercise thoughtful and appropriate discretion in all their relationships. Sexual intimacy is not permitted for students at Deerfield.

Incidents of sexual intimacy are dealt with by the Student Life Office in conjunction with parents, advisors, the counseling staff, and the Health Center. The school may take action including but not limited to required counseling, Letters of Reprimand, meetings with advisors, and discussions with parents/guardians. Repeated disregard for the Sexual Intimacy Policy may be grounds for suspension or other disciplinary response.

We address issues of human sexuality through special programs in classrooms, in dormitories, and in one-on-one conversations. Students with questions or concerns are encouraged to have discussions with their families, school counselors, Health Center staff, and/or advisors.

Definition of Consent

It is never legal to engage in any intimate contact without another’s full consent. Consent is more than “no means no”—it represents an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each party to engage in sexual activity.

Statutory Rape

In Massachusetts the age when a person can consent to intercourse is 16 and for touching another’s private areas is 14. Legally, students under those ages cannot consent to those activities. Students should be aware that sexual activity with others under those ages constitutes the crimes of Statutory Rape and Indecent Sexual Assault on a Child respectively. It is never legal to engage in any intimate contact without another’s full consent.

All cases of unwanted sexual contact and/or rape should be reported to the Assistant Head of School for Student, Dean of Students, the Dean of the Faculty or the Head of School. If there is reasonable suspicion that a student under 16 has engaged in intercourse, the Dean of Students has a legal obligation to report to the Department of Children and Families.