Combating K-12 Sexual Harassment in 2018

In 2018 Stop Sexual Assault in Schools (SSAIS) continued directing national awareness to the sexual harassment epidemic in K-12 schools.

On New Year’s Day, SSAIS launched its #MeTooK12 campaign to promote awareness and inspire action to counteract pervasive sexual harassment and sexual violence in K-12 schools. Approximately 50 media articles reported on the campaign, including Education Week, The Washington Post, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Ms. Magazine, and Teen Vogue. Now This Her dedicated an entire video to the SSAIS #MeTooK12 initiative and activists.

SSAIS partnered with experts to create new resources to combat K-12 sexual harassment, including You Can Become the Agent of Change for Title IX Policies in Your SchoolsExposing a Sexual Abuse Scandal at a Private School, and How to File a Title IX Complaint in K-12 Schools. The National Women’s Law Center, partners in the #MeTooK12  launch, also created new resources.

SSAIS also participated in the American Federation of Teachers #MeTooK12 keynote webinar, and made its curated list of #MeTooK12 resources available to the American Federation of Teachers Share My Lesson library.

Also this year, SSAIS:

  • Expanded its work on the rights of private school families after discovering that Betsy DeVos’s high school alma mater violated Title IX.
  • Created Ending K-12 Sexual Harassment: A Toolkit for Parents and Allies. This toolkit helps parents find out what their schools should be doing to end sexual harassment and provides concrete steps communities can take to promote transparent and effective policies, Title IX compliance, and sustainable school culture change.
  • Launched Students Against Sexual Harassment (SASH), the student activist arm of SSAIS.
  • Formed the Coalition Against Sexual Harassment K12 (CASHK12), an online resource for advocates to exchange information. (Contact SSAIS to join.)
  • Created a #Hands Off IX web resource to combat the regressive proposals to weaken Title IX in K-12 schools.

With SSAIS urging, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden cosponsored the Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act of 2018. This legislation would provide additional resources for schools, school districts, and states to fully implement the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act (aka Title IX).

SSAIS also worked with members of the Oregon congressional delegation (Senator Wyden and Representatives Bonamici and Blumenauer) to submit a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The request asks OCR to produce findings from all investigations into K-12 sex discrimination complaints from the past five years and the mandated annual report for 2017.

SSAIS cofounder/Program Director Joel Levin participated in a Quora session on sexual harassment in K-12 schools.

We would like to thank all who donated to SSAIS this year. As an all-volunteer nonprofit, SSAIS relies on individual contributions to help continue our initiatives in the coming year. You can donate here.

We wish you a happy and fulfilling 2019. Join us in addressing sexual harassment where it begins, in K-12 schools.