(NEWS CENTER) -- There is a nationwide response to a report that was published Monday by the Associated Press. According to the report, there were 17,000 official reports of sexual assault on students in school before college. That figure is likely much lower than reported, due to lack of reporting or misclassification of abuses.
Unlike recent strides that have been made to require universities to report the number of sexually based assaults that occur on campuses in a given year, there is a lack of national requirements associated with reporting kids in grades K-12.
Like many issues, systems to respond and report sexual assault amongst mostly minors attending school varies from state to state.
In Maine, the Department of Education does collect and data related to sexual harassment but does not specifically identify sexual abuse. Perhaps more alarming, is the fact that none of Maine's state law enforcement agencies have relayed easily distinguishable findings to the National Incident-Base Reporting System denoting attacks in elementary and secondary schools in the last couple years.
» RELATED: Taking strides to end sexual violence
This lack of metadata management could limit authorities' ability to quickly identify anomalies of sexual abuse inside certain Maine schools or districts.