Murderers should not be allowed to investigate their own crimes, or how ridiculous it is that schools conduct their own internal investigations
First things first, this is a response to the idea of colleges and universities investigating the crimes committed on their campuses. You can read more about this idea at the link provided.
To me, the obvious answer in a lot of this is that schools need to quit trying to investigate themselves. It’s backwards. If a crime is reported, it should be handed over to the local authorities. Granted, sometimes that doesn’t even work, but that’s another debate.
These people are adults. Adults. Which means they can walk into a police station and press charges against another adult, if they want. The problem is that the schools have created a system of “come to us and tell us everything”, which is not what an adult should do. They are giving students bad advice from the get-go. Not to mention, the obvious conflict of interest the school has in investigating crimes committed on its campus.
I can recall one time, many years ago it seems, sitting with an 18 year old girl who had been abused off and on most her life. I explained to her, “You’re an adult now. The next time your mom lays a hand on you, you can call the cops and press charges against her for assault, because it’s violence committed from one adult to another.” The problem is when we create relationship scenarios like, “She’s my mom, I can’t press charges against her,” or, “I can’t report a crime and press charges against this guy, I have to go the school authorities and tell them,” we’re creating a scenario that sets people up to be systematically abused. “I’m your parent,” or, “We’re your authorities”, and there’s nothing you can do. But the reality of it is that there is plenty an adult can do.
If I was the chancellor of a school right now, my goal would be to create a policy of handing over ALL reported crimes to local authorities. Because the school isn’t designed or trained for handling such things. And, I would also work towards making sure all students understand that they are adults and how the criminal justice system works. They DO NOT have to report the crime to the school first or at all, they can go straight to the police if they want, because that’s what a normal adult would do. No more treating students like kids, when they are old enough to drink, smoke and vote.