Sexual harassment is a problem that occurs in schools across the country, whether in the cities or in the countryside, rich or poor, public or private, high schools or primary schools. The bad news is that sexual harassment can happen every day in your district. It can happen in the hallways, in the classrooms, in the lunchroom, on the playground, or in all the places where students gather and where they are adults. Sexual harassment is nothing new. It’s been like this for years, we just don’t call it “sexual harassment.” We ignore, deny and accept no responsibility for its impact on students and their ability to receive education in a safe environment without hostility. Actually, until recently, I didn’t see it as a problem in schools.
Due to court decisions regarding allegations of sexual harassment against school districts against students and adult staff, and now between students and students, school districts are placing more emphasis on developing policies and procedures to prohibit sexual harassment in the educational setting. However, policy-making is not enough without staff and students being aware of these policies and their implications. The fact is that sexual harassment is illegal both in the workplace and in educational settings. Students sexually harassed in schools are denied equal educational opportunity based on Title IX of the Education Amendment.
The latest national survey data available from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) reports called Hallway’s hostile. It showed that more than 81 percent of students (men and women) reported experiencing sexual harassment at school (1993). Contrary to popular belief, most students are sexually harassed by their peers, not adults.
Over the past two years, in training with hundreds of administrators, teachers and other staff, I have often asked participants if they know their school district’s policies and procedures for sexual harassment and if they Or what to do if students are sexually harassed. . For the most part, no hands are raised. Most participants are unaware that there are laws that protect students and staff from sexual harassment and that sexual harassment is illegal in the educational environment. Obviously, if adults in schools are not even aware that there is a policy to ban sexual harassment, how can we expect students to learn about sexual harassment and its prohibition?
The good news is that sexual harassment can be prevented. Teaching students mutual respect and good relations between and within the genders. Students may become more sensitive to one another and realize that abuse is itself degrading and humiliating. School districts can best demonstrate this to students by taking a stand and not tolerating bullying in any form. This can be achieved by raising awareness about sexism and prejudice and their impact on people, and through skills that teach students to stand up for themselves when faced with sexual, racial or religious bullying.
The rest of this article describes the integrated approach that a school district in Texas was willing to take an active stand against sexual harassment in schools. Some school districts have adopted a comprehensive approach, including teaching more than 24,000 staff and students how to avoid sexual harassment.
Last November, the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) received a request for training and technical assistance from an area of Texas to develop a comprehensive sexual harassment awareness plan across the entire region. offered to develop the approach. Sexual harassment among peers. The request came in response to a resolution by the Bureau of Civil Rights (OCR), which required the district to educate all students on: (1) what sexual harassment is; (2) what prohibitions on sexual harassment; and (3) what students can do if they are sexually harassed. The driving force behind this decision with OCR comes from a complaint to OCR from one of the families in the district. The school district was found to be Title IX compliant, but the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) required that it submit a detailed implementation plan within a specified time frame for training all students in kindergarten through 12th grade to prevent sexual harassment.
In an effort to comply with the Office for Civil Rights ruling, the district received targeted educational assistance to develop a training plan through IDRA’s Desegregation Assistance Center – South Central Collaborative (DAC-SCC), which provides training and technical assistance to school districts within a five-state area on issues related to race, national origin and gender equality. What started as an insurmountable challenge for the region, has actually turned into an opportunity to raise awareness across the region on the topic of sexual harassment by peers and how to prevent sexual harassment.
The first step was to help IDRA identify appropriate resources the district could use with students in the area of sexual assault prevention. List of recommended resources Including primary and secondary courses and commercial video tapes have been sent to district officials.
The second step in the process involved the formation of teams of people at the district level to carry out the planning and guidance of the training efforts in consultation with IDRA’s Gender Equality Coordinator. At the inaugural meeting, a group of district representatives discussed issues related to sexual harassment from peers, including a look at what national research and survey data say about the prevalence of sexual harassment from peers in our schools. They recommended steps to prevent sexual harassment. At this meeting a proposal for a plan concept, originally developed by the development staff