The recent #RedForEd strikes have highlighted a duality that Black women educators have long addressed–that their interests as public employees are connected to their concerns for the communities they serve.

The West Virginia teachers’ strike builds upon a longer movement that has primarily been led by women in Appalachia, one staked on expanding working people’s access to political power and equalizing public services.

The spring 2018 teacher strikes in Republican-dominated states were an unprecedented, collective response of a mostly female workforce against a decades-long assault on public education.

A 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter issued by Barack Obama’s Office of Civil Rights reaffirmed that sexual violence in educational institutions constitutes a Title IX violation. The letter reminded colleges that Title IX and Clery Act compliance – and continued federal funding -requires on-campus training programs to prevent and reduce sexual assault and harassment. As the schools struggled to end the problem of sexual misconduct, they mandated students, staff, and faculty to participate in online or in-person trainings. All of this prompted our team to ask the rather straightforward question: Does mandatory training actually help change campus climates and reduce sexual misconduct?

Mary Koss & Elise Lopez: Restorative justice is an effective way of addressing sexual misconduct.

Alexandra Brodsky: The push for mandatory referral to criminal justice systems is misguided.