Sexual Harassment in Schools
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcome behavior or remarks of a sexual nature which limits or denies a student's right to educational benefits (learn, achieve, work, study), or participate in an educational activity or program in a safe and supportive environment. According to federal and state laws, sexual harassment is illegal and is prohibited in school settings. In school settings, this often involves a teacher-student or student-student relationship, but can also be administrator to student and teacher to teacher.
What are the Forms of Harassment and Discrimination in School?
The different types of sexual harassment in schools are:
- Different treatment (e.g. favorable treatment because you are female)
- Quid pro quo sexual harassment (e.g. if you will do this, I will give you a better grade)
- Hostile environment - Based on the reasonable person standard ("similarly situated" - e.g., reasonable woman of same age, education, etc.) and the totality of the circumstances - location, time, parties involved, power relationships, etc.
What are my Rights Regarding Sexual Harassment in Schools?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law prohibiting sexual discrimination in schools, protects students against sexual discrimination and harassment. Teachers and students have the right to participate in all educational programs and activities without fear of sexual harassment. Faculty, staff, and students all have a duty not to engage in sexual conduct that is obscene or unwanted by others.
What Can I Do if I Am Being Sexually Harassed?
People who believe that have been sexually harassed are not without recourse. The following are some guidelines which you may wish to follow:
- Notify the harasser in person or in writing that you find his/her conduct offensive and ask him/her to refrain from that conduct
- Adhere to the school's procedures and/or policies regarding sexual harassment issues
- Maintain a detailed account of the harassing events, manner, time and place
- Report the offensive behaviors to a school administrator, teacher or counselor
Should I Consult an Experienced Attorney about my Sexual Harassment Issue?
Investigating and proving a sexual harassment claim can be difficult. A lawyer can help you file within the deadlines for sexual harassment claims. A lawyer will help you investigate your claim and inform you of the various options you can pursue.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 08-30-2010 04:37 PM PDT