BSD superintendent addresses backlash regarding the district’s handling of sexual violence complaints

In his statement, Art Jarvis denounced social media attacks and urged for trust in due process.

After student-involved protests regarding the way in which school administrators in the Bellevue School District handled complaints and investigations of sexual assault and harassment between students, BSD Superintendent Art Jarvis has issued a statement denouncing the behavior of student protesters and angry parents while also urging students and families to trust in the district’s due process policies.

Protests at Bellevue schools have led to the expulsion of several student protestors including some that allege they were assaulted or harassed by their peers.

As public backlash against the district has grown among students and their families on social media, Jarvis has issued a statement calling the “threats” against school district staff and the calls for their termination “abhorrent.”

“From the information provided in social media, some persons have reacted in ways that immediately presumed guilt on the part of other students. That has included some students shouting allegations and naming other students,” said Jarvis. “That behavior falls directly in the definition of ‘Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying’ that cannot be tolerated by the school district.”

He also maintained that the district would not be involved in discussions on social media about the investigations or their results as it would be a violation of student privacy to do so.

“I want my message to be clear. There is no tolerance for sexual assault or sexual harassment in the policies or practices of the Bellevue school system. Neither is there any room for a mentality that skips essential investigations and findings or neglects due process protection deserved by every person,” Jarvis said about the importance for due process regarding the allegations.

He said The district will continue to investigate any charges or allegations. However, because these involve juveniles, findings will not be made public.