Sexual Harassment Defined

Students and families across the country struggle with the devastating impact of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Most families don’t know that the harassment begins as young as kindergarten. For example, making fun of a child because they do not look or act like a stereotypical girl or boy is a type of gender-based harassment. Many elementary school children are groped or sexually assaulted in the bathroom, on the playground, or in school buses by peers or older students. Sexual harassment takes many forms.

Yet in many cases, victims don’t acknowledge that they’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted. That’s because they have come to accept sexual harassment as normal and sexual assault as their fault. For additional descriptions of daily sexual harassment and school assault, see this video by students at Berkeley High School.

Everyone must recognize the many forms of sexual harassment and assault so that students are protected and afforded an equal education, as guaranteed by Title IX. Here are some important resources.

From Equal Rights Advocates:

From The National Women’s Law Center:

From Girls for Gender Equity:

From parents who have contacted SSAIS describing types of sexual harassment and assault (the links are to sample cases in the media):