Students should treat one another with respect and exercise thoughtful and appropriate decision-making in all their relationships. Understanding the unique nature of our residential setting, we ask that students refrain from sexual intimacy.
Responses to incidents of consensual sexual intimacy—including undress—are coordinated by the Student Life Office in conjunction with parents/guardians and the Health Center. The school may take action including, but not limited to, required counseling, meetings with advisors and discussions with parents/guardians. Repeated disregard for the Sexual Intimacy Policy may be grounds for a 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
In any sexual activity, students are expected to adhere to expectations—and laws—regarding consent, which is defined as affirmative, unambiguous, verbal, and conscious agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity. “Yes means yes” is our recommended guideline. Consent must be offered throughout an encounter and can be revoked at any time. Consent to one act on one occasion does not constitute consent for that act at any time in the future. Consent cannot be obtained by threat, coercion, or force.
Statutory Rape, Unwanted Sexual Contact
In Massachusetts, a person can consent to intercourse at age 16, and can consent to being touched in their private areas at age 14. (The state defines intercourse as the penetration of another’s body cavity.) By law, students under those ages cannot consent to such activities. Students should be aware that underage sexual activity constitutes the crimes of Statutory Rape and/or Indecent Sexual Assault on a Child. It is never legal to engage in sexual contact without another’s full consent.
Any allegations of unwanted sexual contact and/or sexual contact involving underage students must be reported to the Assistant Head of School for Student Life or the Dean of Students. Anytime an employee of the Academy becomes aware, directly or indirectly, of an allegation of unwanted sexual contact and/or sexual contact between underage students, the state’s mandated reporter law requires that the allegation be reported the Department of Children and Families. While anyone may do so, typically the Assistant Head of School for Student Life will lodge reports with the Department; other adults may also be obligated to make a report.