Sexual Harassment

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcomed behavior from students or staff members that is sexual and causes problems for you at school. The unwelcomed behavior may be verbal, visual, or physical. Sexual harassment is against the law and should not be ignored. Some examples are:

  • Comments, notes or invitations of a sexual nature
  • Derogatory comments or jokes that are sexual
  • Touching or gestures that are sexual
  • Blocking or cornering in a sexual way
  • Pulling clothing or grabbing that is sexual

Other behaviors include:

  • Showing sexual interest in someone when the interest is not wanted
  • Any expression of sexual interest between adults and students

What should you do if you think you have been sexually harassed?

Don’t ignore the behavior. You don’t have to put up with it. Even though it is hard to do, you should tell your harasser to stop. And you should report what’s going on to any adult staff member with whom you feel comfortable talking. If you wish, you can bring someone to help you make your report. You have the right to speak to someone of your same sex.

When you tell the adult staff member what’s going on, they will report it to the person at school who investigates these kinds of problems, usually the principal. There will be an investigation and a decision will be made based upon the facts of the case. The investigation is confidential, and you will not be asked during the investigation to face the person who you believe is harassing you. You don’t have to worry about that person or someone else “getting even” with you for telling; the school staff will do their best to protect you.

What will happen to a person who is guilty of sexual harassment?

Students or staff who have been found guilty of sexual harassment will be told that the behavior must stop and will have appropriate disciplinary and corrective action taken.

Students who have been found guilty of sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

Staff members who have been found guilty of sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Corrective action for students and staff may include oral and written apologies, training, and counseling.