Keenan Blog

Keenan Exceeds Over 2 Million Trainings to Keep Students Safe from Abuse

April 13, 2021
  • In 2015, Keenan launched an online mandated reporter course for our customers to meet the legal requirements in AB 1432
  • These trainings are included in the “Keenan SafeSchools” curriculum that has over 300 courses
  • Since launching the platform, more than 10 million total trainings have been completed focusing on all aspects of school risk and compliance
  • In 2016 and 2017, Keenan partnered with the Schools Association for Excess Risk (SAFER) to build and release a series of 13 micro-courses for California school systems, which have over 300,000 course completions

In 2014, the U.S. saw a significant spike in child abuse cases. As the leading provider of insurance solutions to California school systems, Keenan acutely felt the problem and was compelled to help solve it for both the children and the schools. Subsequently, in 2015, we launched our online mandated reporter course for our customers to meet the legal requirements in AB 1432, requiring school district personnel to be trained within the first six weeks of school and/or hiring. Mandated reporters are those individuals mandated by law to report child abuse, and they include administrators, teachers, staff, and volunteers. Our system allows districts to track and maintain records of course completions, which is extremely important for compliance and litigated matters. These trainings are included in our “Keenan SafeSchools” curriculum that has over 300 courses, and today, we are proud to announce that we have completed more than 10 million total trainings focusing on all aspects of school risk and compliance since launching the platform.

After establishing our Mandated Reporter training component, we decided we could do even better, and in 2016 and 2017, we went beyond mandatory reporter training and partnered with the Schools Association for Excess Risk (SAFER) to build and release a series of 13 micro-courses for California school systems. Today, our micro-learning offering includes 22 online courses, each consisting of 3-4 minute bursts of information. Designed to fit an adult’s busy schedule, the courses help a district employee recognize the behavior of sex abusers, define and foster appropriate boundaries between students and adults, and intercede when something appears awry between a peer and a student. We have high standards for our curriculum and feel it’s important to constantly keep our content fresh, relevant, and in accord with new legislation and trends. In this vein, we recently launched a social media component, which keeps pace with the ever-evolving digital world. While our micro-courses are not required by law, thousands of school employees are taking advantage of them. In fact, in the past two years, we’ve had more than 300,000 micro-learning course completions.

 

In addition to the SafeSchools and micro-learning curricula, we offer important and timely webinars in collaboration with government and nonprofit entities. Our most recent webinar was conducted in partnership with the United States Attorney General’s office. Titled “Protecting Students During the Pandemic: Detecting, Preventing, and Addressing Child Abuse in the Online Classroom,” it covered grooming behaviors (those actions a predator takes when “befriending” a victim), as well as social media boundaries that should be implemented to keep kids safe.

Today, the culture of sexual abuse reporting is drastically different from what it was 30 years ago. As an optimist, I believe our country is headed in the right direction, with more people becoming aware and speaking out. Willful ignorance has no place in today’s society, and the topic is now front-page news rather than brushed under the rug. In addition, as a country, we have moved from training people to identify abuse at home to demanding it be rooted out in schools.

Despite this progress, money can never erase the pain of a person who has been abused, as they struggle with a lifetime of mental and physical hurdles, and the cost to society is great. In addition to the personal horrors, school districts unnecessarily bleed out money in lawsuits. I am utterly convinced that this money would be better spent in the classroom, in support of education.

Keenan is proud to be a leader in the insurance industry in fighting against child abuse in California school districts and has been recognized nationally. We were awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for our efforts, and Business Insurance Group has honored us with two innovation awards for our approach. But we must keep our foot on the pedal and not relent. Sexual abuse in schools is the single largest liability risk schools face, and one of every 10 students, K-12, will experience school employee sexual misconduct. Also, effective January 1, 2021, California has now extended the statute of limitations for students to age 40 to pursue sexual abuse lawsuits. Now more than ever, all districts are called to develop a strong foundation for preventing sexual abuse, and the trainings we develop are a great tool to assist in those efforts. As the provider of innovative insurance and financial services to hundreds of California school districts and an invested member of our communities, Keenan is at the forefront, helping districts implement powerful resources to keep our students safe.


About Ron Martin
Ron is a California Licensed Property & Casualty Broker Agent with more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry and nearly 27 years of public entity experience including Property & Liability Claims Administration & Management, Account Management, Sales & Marketing and Joint Powers Authority Management. Ron was named a 2019 Risk & Insurance Risk All Star by Risk & Insurance magazine for his work developing the SAM Risk Management program.