When K-12 schools and educators employ a multi-pronged approach to address sexual harassment and assault, they can stop the inequitable behaviors that compromise students’ education and well-being. Schools can also promote culture change by stopping the progression of harassing behaviors that begin in K-12 schools and continue into college and the workplace.

Schools have an obligation to ensure the safety of all students with whom they have been entrusted. A persistent, sexually hostile school environment is diagnostic of irresponsibility and failure on the part of teachers, counselors, administrators, and district leadership.

School staff can learn about the many behaviors that constitute sexual harassment and assault; call out and report sexual harassment when it occurs, implement trauma-informed procedures when students recount incidents, support students who file reports, and share resources when students need additional help. School staff should understand the district’s policy on sexual harassment, reporting procedures, the crucial role of Title IX Coordinator, that retaliation against teachers, staff, students, and allies who uphold students’ rights is always illegal. Staff should engage the entire school community to support student-led initiatives, education, and sustained anti-harassment campaigns addressing sexual harassment and assault.