Few families can imagine the life-scarring impact of sexual harassment/assault on students’ mental health, education, and long-term success. Entire families and friends are affected. Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to reporting because they fear blame, retaliation, and other consequences. To inform families, we provide real-life accounts to show how sexual harassment/assault impacts students’ right to an equal education. By hearing personal accounts, we begin to understand the devastation caused by hostile school environments.
Students’ rights are violated across the nation, in “good” schools, in “rough” schools, and in private schools. While the media has provided accounts of sexual assaults on college students, the public needs first-hand accounts from younger students. Have you or someone you know faced sexual harassment/assault, bullying, cyberbullying, hazing, or discrimination on the basis of gender/orientation while a student? Do you know of schools that failed to protect students’ rights or retaliated for reporting? We would like to hear from you to increase our advocacy efforts. We’ll only use your story with permission. Please contact us!
Trigger Warning: This section contains links to stories about sexual assault and/or violence that may be triggering to survivors.
Seth Walsh killed himself after his school district failed to address prolonged harassment based on his sexual orientation. His mother, Wendy Walsh, reads his suicide letter.
Students at Berkeley High School (Berkeley, CA) relate their harassment stories to the school board (BUSD Board Meeting Dec 2014 Public Comments). Written accounts of harassment at Berkeley High School (BHS Stop Harassing). More accounts here.
Kyle speaks about the harassment in the Anoka-Hennepin, MN school district that led to peer suicides. This harassment led to a lawsuit, OCR investigation, and the participation of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A father talks about the sodomizing of his athlete son, the suicide of a team member, and the school district’s retaliation for reporting (Milton Independent).
US Representative Tom Reed (New York, 23rd District) speaks about the assault on his niece (YouTube).
Mother who co-founded SSAIS talks with KIRO Radio about the nightmare following the field trip assault (KIRO Radio News).
Parents discuss the tragedy that led to the formation of this non-profit (Our Family’s Story).
Angie Epifano describes her sexual assault at Amherst College (The Amherst Student).
Private School Sexual Assault Accounts
Stop Sexual Assault in Schools hears from parents of private school students whose schools have whitewashed reported sexual assaults. We encourage private school families to use our advocacy resources to the extent they are applicable.
A physician’s account of her high school sexual abuse by a Horace Mann school faculty explains how vulnerable students are lured into long-term relationships with teachers.